Clare’s body was carried from the church to the accompaniment of beautiful and uplifting Kenyan Gospel music. Clare’s body was buried just behind the boy’s school with the Mendip Hills as a backdrop. We scattered the soil on the wicker coffin in the traditional manner but with smiles as well as tears. Ben never wanted to stop scattering and got so close to the edge of the hole that I feared he was going to topple in.
It was a shame that I could not have spent more time chatting with everybody who had made the effort to be there but that is the nature of such an occasion. Fortunately many of those who came did get the opportunity to catch up with long lost friends. It is a shame that it takes a funeral to bring far flung friends together but Clare would definitely have been delighted that so many people said things like “I probably shouldn't say it but I really enjoyed the day.” The band, old friends from Clare’s university days, reformed for one day only, were excellent and much appreciated. The sound system struggled at times but I guess that made it all the more evocative of the old days. There was no dancing. No doubt there would have been had Clare been there in body rather than just in spirit.
After a couple of days it was just me, Jack and Ben. We can now find some kind of equilibrium. There is a lot of emptiness but also a lot of hope for the future. It will be the greatest challenge I have ever faced but I know that I will not alone in facing it and that helps immensely.
Without the help of the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Weston Hospicecare our lives would have been so much more difficult. Both organisations rely on volunteers and donations so anything you can spare would be gratefully received.
Clare’s mother Sue-Jane has set up the Clare Viva Towner Mauremootoo Tribute Fund. All money donated goes to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.