Saturday, November 18, 2006

Michael's last journey

This picture was taken a few years ago, but I saw it immediately as an allegory for the last journey that Michael would make, so very apt because he was a passionate lover of trains, and was here indulging his love of steam on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire, where he was staying with our youngest son Richard. These little railways, lovingly preserved and run by steam lovers like himself, are a great tourist attraction in the UK - and probably in other countries too. It is hard to see here, but the words on the board seen through the train window are: "Journey into the night" - also astonishingly apt in this context. My son tells me it would have been a notice of a special train excursion run in the evening, with dinner being offered on board. I hope Michael had nourishment on his journey too!

I made a collection of photographs of Michael on a CD, and we ran them as a slideshow in the church hall after the service. There were about 36 of them, covering his whole life from the age of 3. 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! We also printed this picture, the final one in the slideshow, on the back of the order of service, so together with the recorded sound of the steam loco at the crematorium, we were able to give the day the special flavour that he loved.


Lillie said...

This is such a beautiful photograph--so much character and style. I love your feelings about it too. Bon Voyage, Michael.

Pauline said...

Judith - we forget, when we're down here slothing around, of our incredible lightness of being. It's there in Michael's face. Thank you for sharing your love for him.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo!

I am from the USA but I love Great Britain. I have noticed that the British have a particular love of trains.

I am glad your husband was able to enjoy them~

herhimnbryn said...

May he have a safe and joyful journey.

Knowleypowley said...


Such a lovely sentiment to have the sound of a steam train. A lovely photo