Clothing for a send-off

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Monday 30th March

Well, writing out the list yesterday was far easier than putting it into practice this morning. Gathering together the clothes for our son to wear in the coffin was desperately painful. Another sad and sobbing start to the day.

The black velvet jacket, white t-shirt from Spain, black trousers, underwear, socks and woolly hat to keep his hairless head warm. A pair of black leather shoes that my husband would always polish for him.

Then the toys and books: Dot and the Kangaroo, He Man and She Ra’s Secret of the Sword, and Two Brothers Go Fishing. The Ritz teddy bear and cuddly dolphin, too. I looked everywhere for his St Christopher, but couldn’t find it. However upon opening a drawer, right on the top was a sparkly green star-shaped badge with the name “Frankie”. He had worn this whilst visiting Lourdes. I pinned it to his velvet jacket. His tablet wasn’t quite fully charged, so we will bring that to him tomorrow.

A strange assortment of items to take to heaven, but in his own little Asperger’s world, they mean such a lot.

We took these things down to the undertaker, but will not be able to see our son until tomorrow. It was a painful handing over, knowing what they were for, but we want our son to look his best.

Our next stop was the florist to talk about the white pillow to hold He Man’s sword, and then a simple double spray of yellow sunflowers to sit atop the coffin. Again, very difficult to speak about. We want the very best, but it’s hard when you’re feeling so very emotional and hurting like mad.

We don’t want to go home just yet, so we walk around the town, which is filling up with Easter holidaymakers. Even when we do arrive home, we go out again almost straight away; to my sister’s for a cup of tea. We seem to be avoiding our home at the moment.

Our evening was spent trying to put together a fitting Order of Service. Trying to choose five of the best photographs proved hard. Over the last thirty years we must have taken thousands, if not tens of thousands of our son. But we did eventually settle upon what we think is a lovely tribute to him.

On a horse, with a dolphin, two happy smiling faces, and one gentle picture inside a heart.

That is where he will forever be now. In our hearts forever.

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