I never thought I’d get to the end. I was convinced I’d falter.
But I sat and listened and breathed in all the eulogies for Izzy and for Beth. From Mirelle, Lisa, Jake, Miles, Tom, James, Charlotte, Ruby, Anna, Tess, Mihir and Callum, Ellie, Niall, Polly, Maiya and Molly. Everyone managed it. And everyone did it so beautifully.
Then I stood.
I laid out my single sheet of A4 on the lectern and looked up.
We’d come to the front of the church whilst most people were outside to see Izzy and Beth arrive – a journey to be told another day – so I’d no idea that, because the pews were full, a large crowd of people were stood at the back.
It felt silence, I don’t know whether it was. I remember glancing at the coffins, strewn with their regalia. And I remember feeling that now so familiar sinking ache inside my chest. A cocktail of shock, longing, bewilderment and at the same moment, sickening realisation.
Then I read this. And I sat down again.
My eulogy to the loss of the minutiae, the mundane, the little details, the everyday.
Clear a week’s worth of mugs and dishes from Beth’s room.
Deliberately get the names of Izzy’s favourite bands wrong.
Pick up pins and endless glittery thread.
Have to hide chocolate.
Compete to put an order on my Nandos card and lose out to Izzy.
Have long dog walk talks with Beth about family life.
Come between Iz and Trace in the midst of dressage preparations.
Teach Beth to drive, or ride a bike.
Have to wait for my present to be wrapped on Christmas day morning.
Meticulously iron Starbucks and Bills uniforms.
Give up 20 quid for a peck on the cheek.
Compete with Izzy for the best fart.
Moan about people posting pictures of their kids on Facebook.
Make chilli beef brisket when they get back.
Hold their hand and touch their finger tips.
See their faces again.