Yesterday I travelled to my Aunt Doll’s funeral at Mortlake Crematorium in West London with my sister Brenda. It was, as much as these things can be, a beautiful ceremony, with touching remembrances, Doll’s favourite music (Louis Armstrong singing “Hello Dolly” for the Committal) and a wonderfully written Address by her grandson Danny. It was obvious how much she was loved and how much she will be missed.
After the service itself, we retired to a favoured local pub, in the British tradition. It was great to meet parts of the extended family that my sister and I had never met (or even known about) before, with family resemblances (both physical and characteristically) being very apparent.
Unfortunately, although perhaps fittingly, there was a change in the weather from Thursday’s blue skies and blistering sunshine to Friday’s continuous (and at times torrential) rain. The 90 minute journey home actually took well over four hours due to the weather and the end-of-week traffic, but the journey time gave Brenda and I time to continue reminiscing.
A specially printed ‘Order of Service’ described the funeral as “A Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the life of Doris Lilian Collie.” And that, as it turned out, is exactly what it was.