Last year, on 25th Feb (being Saturday, like today) we held my husband’s wake.
It was not a typical Irish wake. There were of course elements who tried to force us to do it “the Correct Way”. Honestly? We didn’t hold a classic Irish Wake for him, we gave him a hero’s and musician’s send-off, like he had discussed with me when we were 25. We had agreed back then that we wouldn’t want a funeral or memorial, we’d want our friends and fam to have a party in our honour to celebrate our lives. So it wasn’t a typical wake following someone’s stuffy “protocol” (somehow I get the impression that that “protocol” is in any case imaginary, having now experienced first-hand a lot of Irish people – they are not stuck-up!), it was Iain’s party.
There was music, alright. My student ensemble played him Mozart’s “Ave Verum” (because from the first time I played in it, that piece made me cry, it is such a lovely piece), followed by an all-strings rendition of “Viva La Vida”. (He did love the way we played that song – he heard us perform it at a house concert in December 2016, and at our studio concert.)
Several of his students brought their instruments but were too emotional to play. The thought alone was worth so much! Two of my ex-students who had become good friends over the years and had even performed on gigs alongside us, played a whole set of songs and pieces for him. And our lovely neighbour of many years performed a few of her entrancing Spanish dances.
And needless to say, we played his favourite Queen albums with “Who Wants to Live Forever”, and “I want to Break Free” (one of his all-time favourites, my rebel Iain).
We also played his own compositions & songs, from his two CDs “No Imagami” and “Krag – en Ander Stories”. (People used to ask him, “what is that, ‘imagami’?” and he just used to look at them funny. Funnily. 😀 Another thing – he was the “grammar police”, as the kids called it. If you have to ask what “imagami” is – you have none. LOL.)
And right at the end, when only a small core circle was left of our closest friends and latest-night owls, and my sweet sis, we sat together and sang, loudly and bawdily through the tears, “Let’s not have a Sniffle”.
Why am I blogging this?
Because it’s a year. A lot of people who wanted to be there, couldn’t – and in my daze I also didn’t manage to contact all. I’m very sorry about everyone who wanted to be there and couldn’t, for whatever reasons. The intention alone is appreciated.
Fly free my beautiful soulmate. I know when it’s my time to join you, you’ll be waiting for me at that door. You’ll make me smile with the joy of seeing you, like so many, countless times over the years whenever we had been apart – or just in different rooms. That smile.
But every now and then, just let me know you’re around.