Because Jude died during the Christmas holidays (just) things took a little longer to organise than usual. We had lots of things to “organise” but these details don’t need to shared with any reader who has never done the task, and anyone who has, already knows.
What I will say about the funeral and the process of saying goodbye is that I was remarkably calm and in control. My husband and I made all the decisions and sat in all the meetings ourselves and the day was exactly what we needed it to be.
Although it was in a Cathedral and it was a priest that we know socially who offered Mass, it wasn’t an overly holy affair. I mean it was a full Mass and all traditions were observed in that sense, but it wasn’t about God or his will and even Abraham wasn’t mentioned. It was about Jude. It was about who he was and what he meant to everyone who knew him. There were no trite words or talk of a divine plan. There was no making sense of what happened or offering platitudes.
It was simple and beautiful and a perfect opportunity for everyone to say goodbye. Of course we had already said goodbye but I told my daughter that this was everyone else’s chance.
The priest asked if we wanted to speak about him but at the time we thought we probably wouldn’t be able to . I wrote a very ineloquent and short thing for him to read out but it really said everything it needed to. The hundreds of people who came already knew who he was to us.
Here is what I wrote to honour our wee angel:
Jude was such a clever, kind and affectionate boy and he spent every day of his short life secure in the knowledge that he was loved and cherished by so many people.
Every morning would start with a huge cuddle on his mummy’s knee and he heard the words “I love you” about twenty times before breakfast. He loved to play with Isla and although they would argue, there’s no doubt that they were the best of friends. They enjoyed pretending to be in Hogwarts, cycling in the patch and playing in the park every day after school with their friends.
Jude loved being thrown around by his daddy, chatting with his mummy and he cuddled up to hear Harry Potter each night before bed.
Although it is so hard for us all to say goodbye to the boy who was our world, it is important for us to focus on how blessed we were to have him in our lives for those amazing five years. It is a huge comfort to us to know that Jude never knew he was ill and he never suffered, even at the end.
We will think of him every day and we will honour his memory by being as happy and positive as he was as we carry on without him.