The send off

Updated on July 29th, 2020

Drumming with The Tuesday Club, 2014

One year ago today we had our send off for Terry. How do you even start to prepare for saying goodbye to the love of your life? In my experience, in a daze. How do you do such a force of nature justice? Unfortunately having had a lot of experience over the last year (I lost my Dad in March & my father-in-law in October), I knew what I wanted & what I didn’t. I wanted to make it true to Terry. I wanted to make him proud. I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to say goodbye & to share their love. I didn’t want any religion (don’t get me started on the anger I feel in any religious situation), I didn’t want any singing, I didn’t want any poems, I didn’t want anything that wasn’t true to Terry & that would make him cringe. He was a master at saying the right things in these situations, on being empathetic & respectful but never losing his innate sense of humour.  It needed to be right.

I had no idea what Terry wanted. We never discussed it. I knew music was important but he had such eclectic tastes – how do you choose? A few months before, I had been reflecting on this point for my own send off. I’ve never been very good at selecting favourites & having had to choose the music for my Dads, I decided that I should tell Terry my selections for when my time came. I intended it to be a interesting topic of conversation in the same vein as our “If you owned a restaurant / bar / anything at all what would it be like?” conversations. It wasn’t – maybe on reflection hitting a nerve that was too raw. I was told to “Stop being so morbid” & we moved on.
In the end I went with music that was mentioned by more than 1 person. If something was suggested by 2 unrelated people it was in. And photos – lots of photos. Finding someone who could combine the 2 for us was perfect.

I’ve always been very vocal around what I think I’m capable of in a “funeral” situation (I use speech marks because anyone who knows me, knows I still can’t use this word in relation to Terry, hence it will always be his “send off” or “when we said goodbye”). When my sister wanted to speak at my Dads, I actively discouraged her. For me, it has always been the time you let your emotions out, when you realise what has happened, when the curtains close on the person you love. How can you put that extra pressure on yourself?

For Terry it was different. I had to say my bit, I had to talk about our time, I had to tell him how much I loved him, I had to hold it together. I did. I’m proud I did. I hope I did him proud & I know everyone else who spoke did.
We had 6 (yes 6!) eulogies in the end. I would have had more but I felt we may be overdoing it! Everyone who wanted to speak did & what was amazing is that we didn’t confer, we didn’t agree who would say what but each of us said something very different, highlighting a different part of the Terry we loved. It worked.

Since then, I’ve had comments that it was the best send off people had ever been to. In my twisted, competitive way that makes me happy. We said goodbye in a fitting way.

And then we got very drunk… it’s what he would have wanted.
Xx

 

 

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