August 9, 2020

Tiny person, big funeral

We sat there that Sunday morning like robots, nodding and shaking our heads to things, pointing at a catalogue of tiny wooden boxes, giving the nod to cars and service types.. it felt like it wasn’t real.

When we were still at the hospital on the Wednesday I told my aunt things I wanted, she said I didnt have to worry about them then but I needed to say it all before the bad days came and I couldn’t think. We all had to wear red for our heart baby, I needed the church I grew up in and he had to be near Robs nan, he couldn’t be on his own. I just repeated all of this to the man on my sofa, it all got taken care of in his notes, we had appointments with the priest later that week, my dad organised the wake and Robs dad took us to register Ronnies death.. we had to go back to the area he had fallen asleep.

we sat in the town hall and watched newlyweds throwing confetti, we see newborn’s leaving with their new proud parents and then there was us, sat in total silence staring at the big wooden door in front of us. we were about to make loosing our son official, I just wanted to run.

The priest had waved his fee, the caterers didn’t want a penny and charity was on our doorstep in forms of food, ironing, cleaning, shopping every day. Our friends and family held us together, they kept us upright, Brandon didn’t miss a single day of school throughout and we only planned on him missing one day, the funeral. One of my sisters had told the school mums about Roo but Brandon had only just started in September and with all the hospital visits id never really met any of them, I was just the pregnant one and then the absent one I guess. I braved a school run and I was met with two faces ‘we don’t know what to say to you, so were just going to give you one of these’ and they hugged me..Kirsty and Linzi ended up being my lifelines at those gates, Kirsty is now Eric’s godmother and one of my most favourite people.. I have Ronnie to thank for those friendships.

We opted for a full catholic service, it was how I was raised and even though Rob is far from religious he agreed it should be a big service. I didn’t make any decision on my own to be fair, most of the time it was stuff we were put on the spot for and as neither of us had planned a childs funeral before it wasn’t exactly thought about before hand!

We woke the day of the vigil service (a small service the night before where the coffin is laid in the church overnight and prayed for) and flowers started to arrive .. my sisters never left my side, Rob went for a walk that lasted hours and Brandon went to school. My driveway was full of floral tributes and the wind picked up so my sisters started bringing them into the house.. so so many flowers filled my house, and then people, lots of faces and hugs all blurred into one.

Rob couldn’t carry Ronnie into the church, my dad asked if he could have the honour and Rob thanked him. The vigil was just family and we wore black, Brandon was picked up from school and had a few minutes to change and figure out why there were so many people in his house. I walked with Rob, behind my dad cradling Roo’s tiny coffin, with Ellie Goulding playing.

The actual day of the funeral I was calm, calmer than I thought id be. We left the house at 7am for breakfast at the café as everyone had made us promise we would eat that day, we ate in silence.

We got back and started to change, today everyone would wear something red, Brandon decided he didn’t want to wear his red shirt he wanted to dress up like ironman … I cant tell you how proud that boy makes me, and on that day he had no idea why!

People came, rows and rows of black suits everywhere with red ties. We got out and said hello to everyone before we went into the church and I still couldn’t tell you who I see. I was handed stuff all day that I couldn’t read, I bumbled through his eulogy like a robot and then the burial .. my cousin had offered me brandy in the church that she had smuggled in an evian bottle and I wish id taken it! My legs couldn’t hold me up any longer, my best mate and my cousin held me up and I held my breath till the end.

Back at the wake I really don’t remember much past the vodkas that kept coming, there was lots of cuddles and ‘how you doing’ but I couldn’t muster an honest answer. The funeral director turned up with a book of cards from the floral tributes and I stupidly decided to take myself off and sit in a corner on the floor to read them all, at that point my best friend Gem decided we needed food, so we went for an Indian and left a handful of people to finish their drinks without us.

The next day there was no hangover, the same fuzzy head id carried for weeks was just lingering now. Brandon went to school and did the Easter parade, Nanny stepped up because I couldn’t face it. My aunt gave us the keys to the caravan and we disappeared for a few days. It was mothers day that Sunday, Robs mum and dad came, his sister and her family came and we walked along the beach. We ate fish and chips and nobody mentioned what day it was. That Sunday was supposed to have been Ronnie’s christening day, our first mothers day. Iv not celebrated a mothers day since.

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