Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Thanks go to Part 2

As it got RATHER long yesterday (hey, I had a lot of people to thank!!) I'll continue that today.

There are a few things that helped me enormously shortly after the funeral.  The first was at the 'wake' in Saltwell Towers (it is a cafe, looks a bit like a castle).  Put simply, LAUGHTER.  It was really comforting in a bizarre way that we could be attending a funeral, or having just HAD attended a funeral for the man I gave my life to, my heart was shattered into little pieces and yet I get in there and Simon ('TheYorkshireman') taps me on the shoulder and says 'Ironic isn't it' and points to the soup of the day board... MUSHROOM! Joel loathed and despised mushrooms with a passion.  That was the first giggle.  There was laughter all around the room as people remembered various stories of Joel/Bob/Gaelphorce/Species or whatever else you wanted to call him... he answered to most things, especially if Carbonara was involved (eh Gill?! LOL)

At the same 'wake' (for want of something to call it... massing of the clans, call to arms of "The Old Guard"... ) my old (as in long standing, he's 34 as memory serves!) friend, Matt Bishop,  wrote the following in my 'Book of Joel' (note, if you are reading this and haven't done something for the 'Book of Joel' and would like to post it on my Facebook wall, the Joel Milburn Appreciation Society Wall, Joel's wall [there as memorial to him], email or post to me, it will be printed and put into the book as memories... any silly stories MUCH appreciated!!):

The Tale of Rainbow Bridge

Whenever someone dies that has been love by someone else the don't go straight to Heaven.  Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge, where all those how have been loved by someone go, the grass is green, the sun is shining, all those that are old and infirm are young, all tose who are ill are well and strong.  There is plenty to do and things to see.  But there is always something missing.  There is the special someone they have left behind.

All is fine until one day. They stop whatever they are doing, they turn and move as fast as they can towards a distant figure.  It is the someone they left behind.  They joyfully greet each other, and hand in hand, cross the bridge together.

That was so sweet it had me in tears...but nice ones.

Later when I returned home (I had been staying at Mam's ... for mutual support), I had some Sympathy cards waiting for me.  Helen and Mark's (mentioned yesterday) had this poem on the front, it means a LOT to me, far more than just the words:

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.  I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
Iam the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I do not die.

There are a few lines of that (while it's all very beautiful) that I have highlighted that mean more to me than others.

Then there was the card from Christine Dobson (Joel and I worked with Christine at Setanta, she became much more than just a work mate.  We share similar tastes in Sci-Fi!! ;o) )  in it she included this poem:

Look for me in Rainbows

Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise, when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

It won't be forever, the day will come and then
My loving arms will hold you, when we meet again.

Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Just wish me to be near you, 
And I'll be there for you.

I have maintained throughout this blog that I believe that Joel, while in a form of Heaven, insofar as he is in another dimension, happy and without pain (that bit, to me is VERY important).... and I know that his PHYSICAL body (some of it at least, more info in a minute), or what's left of it, is in his urn downstairs.  But his SPIRITUAL body is still around.  

I don't believe ANYONE truly dies while people have memories.  Hopefully your memories of Joel will all be good ones, or if you have some negligible ones (parents, siblings and partners ALWAYS have moments that they'd rather forget LOL) then I hope they will be overwritten by the brilliant, cool, funny, tender, sweet, loving memories of him.  And while we have those memories, Joel will never die. By the time there is no-one in this dimension left that knows the name of Joel Thomas Milburn (and if I have my way that is going to be a LONG time coming!) we'll all have passed over and be having our own version of the Mayfair (Snakebite and Blacks all round please!) over on the other side and we won't need to remember Joel cuz he'll be there, we'll be there, the 'good old days' will be every day and we'll be able to love him in whatever way we always did (and yes I'll be dragging him off for 'wifely duties' at some point, you can't have him to yourselves ALL the time!! LOL)  ah well it's a nice thought (the eternal Mayfair reunion party I mean, not the wifely duties... then again... hehehehe).

Now to clear up something... the 'some of him'.... Mam bought Joel the most GORGEOUS brass finished with silver and embossed urn for his remains to rest in for a while ('a while' being however long I decide to take in making up my mind if I keep him, scatter him to the 4 winds or what....).  Today we transferred his ashes from the plastic urn from the Crematorium into the nice one.  Now, as I've previously mentioned, Joel was a big lad, and as such he came in TWO urns (although the 2nd was only about 1/3 full).  We (the Milburn females) agreed to share Joel, he'd like that being a Libran he was very particular about fairness.  Now I don't know if I've got the left eye, half an arm, both legs the right ear and his heart or what, LOL (don't worry even he's having a giggle about that I bet!) but either way, when I'd mostly filled the new urn (and it's a full size one, not a memorial urn!) there was still about 1/3 - 1/2 left in the plastic container which will be perfect for Sophie's share! (she opted for a gorgeous deep red marbled urn to put him in.... in terms of afterlife retirement homes, he's in the penthouse apartments of urns!! LOL, oh in Knightsbridge of course, darling!!).

Something I remember worrying to Mam about was his ashes.  I've never seen ashes (well not of a human being that is) before.  I was unsure what to expect.  Mam said exactly the right thing to me, she'd had a look at the ashes and she said 'It's like fairy dust, or STAR dust'... well of course I just started crying reading that email.... it all fits in, Joel was my guiding light, Mark and Helen got us the Name a Star so there is a Joel Thomas Milburn Star and he loved astronomy, stars, planets, space travel etc.  so it was SO appropriate that he now looks like.... stardust!  (Oh and his favourite Neil Gaiman book was Stardust too.... we had both wept at the end when the star says 'My heart is not my own, for it now belongs to my beloved' *sniff*... he'd read the book many times before but then re-read it when he was with me and said 'Mine did a long time ago I just hadn't realised the signs'.  Awwww Bless!).

On that sweet note I'll leave you a couple of pictures:

Someone mentioned in the memories in the 'Book of Joel' about the 'handcuffs'.... need I say more?!

Even at a family Christmas party, the cyber goth nails, chains and celtic cross.  He's trying to do 'masterful' but you can see that lip twitching!

His planetarium thingy.... still have that!

The one pic I get of him in his bike jacket and he's hiding behind his camera.... Hi there Feral in the background!!

Such a sweet smile to leave you with for today!
I'm off to Manchester tomorrow for the weekend,  but will have computer access so will try to keep up with the blog.  If not you get a bumper edition and LOTS of photos of Joel on Monday... promise!!

Love you lots, have a great weekend!

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