A Rousing Send-Off

Benjamin made a card for Grandma with a drawing of Headingley cricket ground, one of Granddad John's favourite places.

We’ve discussed here before the songs we’d like played at our funerals, including quite recently on April 23rd during the 30-day song challenge.  It’s a sad time in our family, with the recent death of MummyP’s dad – Granddad John to Benjamin and Emma.  Of our children’s four grandparents, John was the youngest and fittest, and he succumbed to a rare cancer that came too quickly to detect or fight; though he battled for his independence to the end.  In life he was unfailingly kind, generous and sociable; and quietly brave – we now realise – as the illness quickly took his strength and life away.

We’ve had lots of support and many good wishes from family and friends, but I thought I’d post the two pieces of music from the committal service.  They seemed just right, and they’re quite different from our funeral song choices. Both pieces are from the community music-making traditions of the British working class, and they were exactly right to bring the mourners together in shared sentiment.  The Grimethorpe Colliery Band playing “Crimond” was a peaceful and reflective piece as we came into the service, and The Dunvant Male Voice Choir (Cor Meibion Dyfnant) singing  “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – a song he loved from a long-standing interest in the USA and the Civil War –  was a most rousing send-off.

12 thoughts on “A Rousing Send-Off

  1. (I’m glad the cricket went well for him even if he was only there in spirit…)

    condolences from here to all of your family.. he sounds like a great granddad to have had… love the drawing.

  2. That’s a beautiful tribute, DP, and from the picture, your writing and the astounding music, I feel I’ve somehow got to know the man. You have a wonderful family, my friend.

  3. That’s lovely, thanks everyone for all the kind words. The music perhaps isn’t everyday listening, but for such an occasion, it feels rooted in community, fulfilling and, indeed, down to earth.

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