Tuesday 7th April
The saddest day of our lives.
The service for our darling son was attended by many and the choir sang beautifully. The hymns I had chosen were ‘All things bright and beautiful’, ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ and ‘Abide with me’.
The coffin was covered with a mass of yellow sunflowers, and a pillow of white chrysanthemums with HeMan’s sword on top. My sister, brother and mum had had the letters F R A N K spelt out using white flowers, linked together with sunflowers too. They looked amazing.
My brother spoke about our son, recalling family memories, and the church Father spoke words written by the care home managers where our son spent time over the last few years.
Somehow I found the strength to deliver the eulogy. I needed to do this for our son. No one else could have spoken my words of love for him. It was down to me, and he would have expected it as such.
Following the service I was told I was very brave and strong, that the words were inspirational and uplifting. But I just did what I had to do. And somehow I stood in front of the congregation and talked about our wonderful boy. I wanted to thank everyone in our town who had ever nodded, smiled, said ‘hello’ or had conversations with him.
Only those parents and families who have a child with special needs will know how difficult life can be for them. To fight for their education, to help them fit in, to give them as normal a life as possible. Our son felt safe in the town despite his innocence and vulnerability.
Following the service, we had a get together with friends and family, then as it was such a wonderfully sunny day, we accompanied our younger son and a group of his friends to walk along the harbour front, to sit outside and talk and reminisce and reflect.
Later, coming home to a quiet, empty house fills me with such sadness and a massive sense of loss. He was our whole life. But his memories will last a lifetime, and we will certainly keep those alive.