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It Was A Beautiful Day



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The house started to fill quite early on Saturday morning with family coming from across. My aunty and cousins arrived first and I found it hard to keep my composure. Toms brother Lennie and his wife Rosie also arrived to pick my mother, sister and niece up from the airport and also to think and do the last minute things I was incapable of. My sister Janet had been with me all week and she has been a star looking after me and the people wanting to show their support and voice their sorrow. Janet has made sure that if one cup of tea has gone cold without my drinking it, there was another and along with something to eat, she would almost stand over me to make sure I ate it. I was so busy and focussed planning for Tom, without her I would have neglected myself badly. She also made sure I did the things I was supposed to as time became nothing to me and I would have missed every appointment I had made.

Less of me now and back to Toms 'send off.' When the funeral cars arrived with Toms beautiful coffin and flowers, I felt strangely detached. I was still trying to focus on my image of the crysalist as Toms earthly body and his spirit was free like a beautiful butterfly. Last year at his fathers funeral, a butterfly fluttered around the mourners for most of the ceremony and I felt comforted by it. It was beautiful. Anyway, I was so detached. I was able to help direct people to the cars I'd decided they were going in. I sat in the front seat on the car that followed the coffin but by this time I was having to do controlled breathing to calm myself. Nearly every car we met stopped as we left our home by the Silverburn and gently made our way to what will be our last resting place. The church was totally full of people and that included the gallery. The coffin was carried into church to the sound of the Spinning Wheel song, the Irish love song which symbolised Tom waiting for me. Ian Cottier did a beautiful eulogy to Tom and did it by using extracts from Toms own book along with his own thoughts which made people both laugh and cry. Don Gelling read Desiderata which was the poem that so touched Toms life, the words of which he tried to live by. The vicar Norma Cole did a very good sermon and along with the 2 songs 'Great is thy faithfulness' and 'How great thou Art' the service went beautifully. At the commendation the vicar stood by Toms coffin and sang a small unaccompanied chorus 'Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace.' It was brave of her and the chorus was so apt of Toms last days. The coffin was then carried out to the song Beautiful Isle of Somewhere prerocorded by Robin Crompton who has a voice in the style of Jim Reeves. Toms mum did very well and I was so pleased she was able to cope. The grave is in a very easy to find place and as it is in a grassed area, which in years to come will always look tidy when there is no-one around to tend it. The flowers I ordered which I thought would be an impossablitly to do were beautifully done, a Steampacket boat from the 60's.

Refreshments and buffet were laid on at the Sidings and our home. I thought that would please both groups of people. I was amazed at the distance people travelled to attend Toms funeral. Phil Walker who built Toms boats and his wife arrived from their new home in the Isle of Skye, Wendy and Sean who Tom met through his Blog and Manx Forums came from London. Aunts and uncles arrived from all parts of Ireland and England. It was a truly wonderful send off for an amazing man.

A friend came to me at the house after the funeral and chatted to me for a little while. She was telling me how she enjoyed the service and offered her support for the time ahead. As she said goodbye, she made a statement that left me totally open mouthed. "There was a butterfly fluttering about where we sat in the church, a red Admiral I think. Its early for butterflies isn't it?"


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Well then Barbara, we think it's clear that Tom has now risen to the rank of Admiral of the fleet. I'll have to begin to address him as Admiral rather than Captain. Bruce being a former Navy man has now given the new Admiral a proper salute! How fitting, what a wonderful sign of Tom's continued presence. Brilliant job of writing, you had us with hearts in our throats by the last line as we so know and believe that Tom will never leave you. So glad Nel was ok, tell her I was asking after her and send her my best. Bless you, talk soon. XX Cheryl

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Nice words. I like the title and I'm so pleased things went ok, thanks for sharing the day with us. This is never an easy time and you have done Tom proud with your writing.


I will miss Tom and although I only met him two or three times, I read his book and followed the words of his blog. Yep, I knew him quite well.


Like you and so many others, I really didn't believe it would come to this.


God bless,



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