Last post about Martin. The funeral was yesterday, went off lovely, respectful, dignified, emotional. Didn't lose it nearly so much as I thought I would, but I did get rather drunk at the party afterwards.
People were so nice. The turnout was big and diverse, just as it was for all of Martin's parties. People told stories about him, exchanged episodes that demonstrated what a nice chap he was, mused on how Sweeney's going to go from here on.
Anyway's here's some edited highlights - good, bad and sad:
- The sitting room at Wesley Road being converted to a scene from Hansel and Gretel - so many sweet things - without the witch-related yukkiness;
- The living room at Wesley Road being converted to a child care facility with Kimberley in the centre, covered in other people's children;
- The band playing Martin's music in the back yard, but without Martin doing the singing;
- Meeting people I'd never known from Martin's previous lives, and his most recent one;
- Meeting people I've known from Martin's previous lives;
- Meeting up with people who're constants in my life, but I didn't expect them to come to the funeral;
- Martin's dad talking about him at the mass - not hiding the tough bits, emphasising the wonderful bits;
- Withstanding a number of assaults on my parenting, or lack of it, after a number of drinks - people teasing me about my son's smelly bottom, and later, about my son's bare bottom. I'll never know why he took his pants off and ran through the house;
- Martin's oldest friends and brothers carrying him from the church and then from the hearse, and lowering him into his grave;
- Martin's male friends and family members filling in his grave. It's an Irish thing. Very emotional. Sweeney tried to wield a shovel, which would've made good theatre, but he made do with emptying a trowel full of dirt;
- Feeling like I've stored enough hugs and cuddles to last me until the middle of 2015 at least;
- Sweeney asking for more time with his cousins, Katie and Philip;
- Finding that it didn't take much asking to get Travis to take his shirt off to show the kids his tattoos;
- The photomontage Catherine, Katie and Philip put together - photos of Martin from babyhood right up until just a few months ago. A great jumping-off point for people to share stories and memories;
- Standing at the graveside, listening to Sweeney and Bela do a call and response over the crowd - "I want to see Bela", "I want to see Sweeney"
Hangovers all around, it seems, from the conversations I've had today. A big thank you to my dad and sister for wrangling Sweeney when I ran out of steam, to my mum for the delicious dinner afterwards, to Catherine for thinking way ahead and getting Sweeney a Magnadoodle, to Denis for letting us give Martin a sendoff he would've enjoyed being at. And to everyone who turned up.