Friday was funeral day. An early start got us to Trumpington in good time for the 9:00 am burial of the body of Priscilla’s mother. In good English tradition the funeral director provided pall-bearers in mourning dress, and we processed from the hearse to the graveside. There our relative James led a simple but Christ-centred and encouraging service, with a couple of Psalms read by grandsons, and the singing of an hymn (the funeral director was impressed, telling us he’s not used to good grave-side singing!). Of course it was sad but it was also good to be with family (and a number of Mother’s friends from her time in the church in Cambridge) and to be refreshed in the assurance of her translation to heaven.
Hannah joined us there (having flown in the night before and staying with Priscilla’s sister Felicity). She brought with her a little bunch of flowers chosen by her children to leave graveside: it was nice. We all then drove back to Banham for lunch (earlier in the week we’d received a bunch of flowers that brightened up the lounge, sent from our other three children who were unable to be with us), before the thanksgiving service at 2:00 pm at Diss Baptist Church. Family and friends were joined by a good number from the church for a service full of thankfulness, praise to God, and hymns (Mother had a list of 8 for the service, but we reduced that to 4 in the service and one graveside!).
The Pastor opened the Scriptures Mother had asked be read (1 Corinthians 15 & Revelation 21) faithfully and clearly with a reminder of the significance of Jesus’ resurrection and the certainty of our own. He made clear the peace that brings to those of us grieving, the hope that brings to all who trust in Jesus, and the implications that has for those who reject Jesus. Again, it was a sad but good time. It was followed by a very nice afternoon tea at an hotel just down the road where almost everyone managed to talk to almost everyone else!
Saturday had its own sadness as with Hannah we farewelled family and left the house we don’t expect to visit again. Easyjet asked if any passengers were willing for their hand-luggage to go into the hold as there isn’t enough space in their aircraft for all the permitted hand-luggage. I volunteered my bag, only to learn that gave me priority boarding. As Priscilla’s boarding pass was on my phone, that meant she too had priority boarding (although the check-in staff seemed to think I had tricked them, as she firmly held on to her cabin bag). The flight was cloudy so there was little to see and poor Hannah was struck with a severe migraine, but despite that on landing she steered us speedily (almost at a trot in fact) through customs and onto a train. We were met at Bunnik station by Rick and cries of “Granddad! Grandma!” and on arriving at the house found Annelise competently barbecuing our dinner.