My Favourite Window

October 20, 2011

Another Farewell

Pippa Anders
14 June 1953 - 14 October 2011

Too lovely, too young, but gone just the same.

With a hand-made funeral...

and a lifetime of family and friends gathered at St Aidan's-down-the-road, for a secular ceremony.

We celebrated Pippa's life with a party, which she had helped plan.  It was too easy to imagine her sitting, just along the row in this particular concert, smiling with delight at the easy joy that crested the sorrow:
at her husband, Geoff, fussing with the microphone;
at her son Sam's handiwork - her splendid hand-built coffin;
at her beautiful daughters, Anna and Emily, managing to calm adored grand-children, while giving heart-breaking speeches;
at her mother and brothers re-calling family life from Fontainebleau to Christchurch;
at the heady harmonies of various acapella singers and folk accustomed to singing together  -
Amazing Grace, Nights in White Satin, and negro spirituals accompanied by the New Brighton Ukelele group.

There was food of course, an astounding quantity of baking and sandwiches, whatever people could bring.

There was the opportunity to write on the coffin lid
(as we had done with Elwin's)

And eventually, time to close the coffin.
All the family had a hand at hammering it closed.

A strange time this for me, so close to the anniversary of Elwin's death - to loose a friend who came into my life, and was part of his set, at the same time as he did.  I realise I have reached that phase of life where the funerals I will attend now, will more and more often be the funerals of my friends and peers.

For the dancing, for the sharing, for being with me at Bryony's birth, for being Kitty's god-mother (we never quite came up with a secular name for that role did we), for all those festival cuppas, for your loveliness and support this past year, for everything thankyou Pippa.


John Gray said...

what a lovely post and a lovely funeral

thats the way I am going.... being carried on the pavement classic !!!!

Jeneane said...

Glad you enjoyed it. Make sure you talk about what you want - I'm sure you would anyway - not just in hushed tones but openly and to everyone who cares.
Last year we carried Elwin down the middle of the road, here in the village, but rope handles! Not good for carrying any distance - too slippery and burning.
There's not far for you to go to your wee church-next-door is there. Maybe you should ask for once around the block :-)

Expat mum said...

Came by your blog via Grumpy Old Ken. So glad I found it.
We're of an age when we start losing people and it's terrible, because they're too young. Loved your post though, and I love the idea of people writing on the coffin. Even though I plan to be cremated, there will presumably still be a coffin and I think it'll give people closure to write something.

Owen said...

From a total stranger, almost, half way round the world... quiet thoughts in reverence, wishing you peace of mind in trying times...

Jeneane said...

Expat Mum: Hello there, we follow a few blogs in common don't we. Who knows what provokes us to explore - my androgyny over at Grumpy's maybe? Anyway lovely to have you visit the Secret Garden and find something worth pondering on. I've been looking at photos from my husbands's funeral and remembering how all that week school children drew, painted, returned daily to their art work, on the lid laid on Elwin's carpentry trestles in the lounge room. They would touch or greet him first in his coffin, before getting on with this spontaneous art project. Uplifting however you do it :-)

Jeneane said...

Owen: :-) Thankyou dear total stranger, with that Magic Lantern full of angels.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh I'm so sorry I'm late here, and sorry for your loss. She looks a very kind lady, with a hint of mischief.

Jeneane said...

Aha Saj, I'm glad you noted the hint of mischief, 'cos I remember our younger years being full of it :-)

Emily Santos-Jackson said...

Thank you for the lovely sum up of a beautiful day, she loved you a lot. xx Emily

Jeneane said...

Thank you Emily. It's nearly a year now isn't it. I hope life is being kind to you and your lovely family.
Love Jeneane