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:
|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!|