It was the kind of day that Chris would have loved: blue, blue skies; bright, golden sunshine; a light refreshing breeze blowing through the red, orange, yellow and green leaves; not too warm - a perfect September day. Fall was Chris' favourite season and he often said that September weather was the best of the year. He was usually right!
We buried his ashes in lovely clearing beneath three soaring trees deep in the heart of one of the oldest cemeteries in London. It's a beautiful, tranquil retreat from the noise and bustle of the city. Chris & I often walked there, as do many people in the neighbourhood, enjoying its park-like setting. I know that he will rest peacefully there with the birds and squirrels to bring him the news of the day between my visits.
This is the poem I read at his burial:
Music I Heard
By Conrad Aiken
Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.
Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.
For it was in my heart that you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always, -
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.
I also read the closing chapter of Trumpet of the Swan, one of Chris' favourite books. For those not familiar with the book, it was written by renowned children's author E.B. White who also wrote the beloved Charlotte's Web.
Trumpet of the Swan is the story of Louis, a trumpeter swan who was born mute and how he overcomes his handicap with creative thinking, determination, and the support of family and friends. Along the way he has many adventures and eventually meets the swan of his dreams whom he woos with his musical prowess. It's easy to understand why Chris loved this story and why it was particularly resonant to him. I think he would have liked the simple pleasure of this tribute.
Rest in peace my love.