We celebrated Michael's life on Monday, in the church which he thought of as his second family. The service, which was planned jointly by the church and ourselves, included tributes both from his own family and from members of the congregation. The choir sang a song which one of them had written to celebrate his 80th birthday nine years ago, and he was played out to the cheerful strains of "When the saints go marching in".
The flowers in the church had been done specially, and a group of church ladies had put on a terrific buffet in the church hall, which enabled us all to meet straight after the service and share our feelings and memories. I had made a collection of photographs of Michael on a CD, covering his whole life from the age of 3 and we ran them as a slideshow. This was much appreciated, despite the fact that the quality of many of the family snaps was pretty poor, given his long life of 89 years!
Later, at the crematorium, we saw Michael off on his last journey to the sounds of a steam locomotive pulling out of the station and disappearing into the distance. This was a sound he always loved so much, and I think he would have been happy to ride by train into eternity.