Goodbye Uncle John

Yesterday I attended the funeral for my Uncle John. He’d been ill for a long time with lung cancer and although we all knew it was likely to end this way, it did happen rather a lot sooner than we thought. At the end, I think he was just tired and had given up the fight. He’d put all his ducks in a row, done everything he wanted to get done and was ready to bow out.

I know it’s really ‘standard’ to say it was a lovely service – but it really was! The man leading the service was really wonderful, and had put together a tribute and eulogy that was thoughtful, insightful and charming. Although it was obviously a very sad occasion, I think everyone smiled and laughed at points throughout the ceremony and the choice of music was uplifting and joyous too – including The Beatles’ Octopus’s Garden (I like to be under the sea… as my Uncle’s favourite hobby was scuba diving!).

I’d read something online that there are some people that feel it is bad luck to attend a funeral whilst pregnant, but that didn’t put me off – there was no way I’d miss it. And I think in some ways, knowing life goes on and future generations are on their way is quite a nice thing to be reminded of at a funeral.

My Uncle John was amazing at making things – he was a welder by trade but could always be found tinkering with things, fixing things or building something bespoke. I’m really proud that we will be using a handmade family moses basket for Baby Pickle, which has been in the family for over 35 years. The basket was made in part by my late Granddad and in part by my Auntie Anne, some of the bedding was made by my Auntie Christine and my Uncle John made the base for it. It’s been used for two different generations so far (my cousins when they were born and then subsequently their own children), and I’m excited to be given the chance to use it as well. Every time I lay Pickle down into it, I’ll be grateful for my Uncle – for his skill and for his effort. Thank you Uncle John.

We would shout and swim about
The coral that lies beneath the waves
Oh what joy for every girl and boy
Knowing they’re happy and they’re safe
 
We would be so happy you and me
No one there to tell us what to do
I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’s garden with you

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