My dear man would have loved the celebrations that were held to mark him leaving his body. The Box Service (ie with Philip’s body in a cardboard box) was beautifully held by my friend Margie McCallum. My mum had spread greenery and a few blooms from our garden on top. We sang Morning Has Broken, which we had sung at our wedding and felt appropriate as we are both embarking on a ‘new morning’ now.
It was stunning; so many people, many sharings and such poignant and sweet Taize singing too. I had created an altar for him with some of his personal things on – his Sudoku puzzle, glasses, his favourite baseball cap. A photo of Bhagwan, one of Tryvan, a Welsh mountain we had climbed together; the belt he had bargained for from a Berber tribesman on our last holiday in Morocco.
And then in front of the altar, a beautiful mandala created by someone who had only recently heard about Philip and been reading the blog – such a loving spirit.
Our good friend Mark had created a lovely slideshow of some amazing photos of Philip; you can see it here (look out for the bearded Swami with sunglasses in the middle of the back row of all the other red-robed Swami’s!)
I was sitting between Barbara and my sister, Anna; during the singing of ‘In Manus Tuas Pater’ (Into thy hands God I commend my spirit), Barbara whispered, ‘They’re singing him away…’. I burst into tears, I knew he loved these songs and this particular one so much.
Tea in the Community Centre followed, after people had been given a copy of Philip’s book ‘Do You Feel Loved By Me?’ I am so blessed to be living amongst such a community, with so many friends looking out for me and opening their hearts so lovingly. Thank you, all of you, and thank you everyone on this blog too. I have created a Book of Memories and have pasted in some of the comments made from the blog. If you would like to contribute to this, please email me direct here.
I don’t yet know what is going to happen to this blog – that is one of the many practical things I have to decide about over the next while. Philip was in the process of editing to publish it as an e-book, but he did not leave me any instructions as to what he wanted done. So I will have to wait and see what presents itself to help me with this decision.