My son was in the Navy and it was to be a military funeral. As his mother I could chose the hymns and the prayers. The Navy would provide the formal proceedings of the gun salute, the flag and the last post.
I spent the three weeks working on it night and day, it gave me something to focus on. I chose the hymns, the prayers, the songs and my eldest son had the Order of Services printed and we handed it to the Navy.
I had no idea how I was going to cope attending the funeral, I couldn’t do it. Everyone around me tried saying comforting things and that I was strong. I wanted to shout at them, ‘I am not strong, I am not that strong’. So as I sat there looking up at my sons photograph, he was stood proudly wearing his navy uniform, I knew.
I knew if I asked Anton what should I do he would say, ‘Mum you can do this, I know you can and just as you have supported me for all my life, I will be there right beside you. You will go and hold your head up high and we will do this together’.
So many people attended the funeral, so many of his work colleagues and friends. As he would of wanted I ensured that at the end of the service I personally thanked everyone for coming. After the wake I went home and that’s when the grieving really started.