We Failed Brian!

Brian's clear instructions left with the will was that there was to be
  • No Funeral.
  • No memorial service.
  • Or suchlike.
Brian Edward Burtt was an English Graduate from St. Catherine's College, Cambridge and he knew how to remove any wriggle room - "or suchlike".

Alison McGonigle, his surviving daughter, acted quickly to organise the donation of his body according to his plans but the hospital needed to establish cause of death. This delay prevented his donation being accepted so we had to book the Hanworth Crematorium for the 5th Sept.
Everywhere she went that week, Alison met with carers, his cleaner, even volunteer drivers that took him to the supermarket who were shocked and upset and wanted to "say goodbye" at the crem.
So we failed even more and on the day had a good turnout at from his family, carers and neighbours.
I took the task of crafting a simple farewell to Brian, that would not mock his wishes but nevertheless allow a time for those he left behind to say goodbye. It took the form of:
  • A reading of the "Elven Hymn to Elbereth"
    from 'The Fellowship of the Ring', J.R.R Tolkein,
    read by Brian's Grandson Richard McGonigle.
    Brian was a great reader of Tolkein.
  • A long silence. Many peoples of the book, Catholic, CofE, Orthadox, and Muslim were represented and this allowed them to privately say their words in their traditions.
  • The last post was played.
  • Brian went out to Soul Limbo by Booker T.
    This represented his family's tradition of cricket, his love of the game and his time in the West Indies.
The TMS theme tune produced a few chortles and sent us out to talk of Brian and on to 'the wake'. To fail again with his instruction to drink his flat dry but we would have a good try!

Rob McGonigle, Brian's Son in Law.


Anonymous said...

Dear Alison,
I was so sorry to hear about your dad. He was a lovely man and he will be sadly missed.

Anonymous said...

Remember the good and special times, love Kate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Alison and family, with our deepest symphathy, Sana & the girls.