One of the most undecided things about yesterday's service was what to call it. It wasn't a funeral and neither was it a celebration. In the end, and rather at the last minute, we decided the Order of Service should carry the title 'A celebration of the life of'. It wasn't until after the event that I finally realised what the service actually was, and that there was no conflict in it; a simultaneous celebration of Adam's life and mourning of his death. Mind you, that would have been a rather pompous, and generally rubbish, title to put on an Order of Service.
For anybody who doesn't follow Adam's Appeal on Facebook or Twitter, this is his Chapel Service …
After two weeks of not being able to think of what to say to everybody, all of a sudden it dawned on me. It’s not everybody I should be speaking to, it’s you.
I’m very proud of you son. Not for any extraordinary feat, not for achieving this, or winning that. I’m simply proud of YOU. My polite, courteous, kind, caring, loving, smiling, funny, happy, little boy. An ordinary child, with an ordinary child’s outlook on life, despite facing things no child should have to face.
You had every right to bemoan your lot Adam, and yet in four years I could count on the fingers of one hand the times you did so. It would’ve been understandable if you’d grown to hate everything you had to go through, and everyone who put you through it, and yet you never let hate enter your heart. You never envied, you never begrudged, and you never sought pity. You lived each day as best you could; and if today was a rubbish day you didn’t dwell on it, just hoped for better tomorrow instead.
Hospitals, nurses, drugs, scans, transfusions, pokes and prods ... they were a sideshow. Adam’s Appeal and publicity, that was slightly bemusing. Home, family, friends, and having fun that was the important stuff. Remember when we took you to Germany for treatment Adam? You used to cry as we drove away from the house because you were leaving Jake and Jess. We had to refer to them as Thing1 and Thing2 so you didn’t get to hear their names. More recently when you were in America, it was never long before you were ready to return home again.
Things didn’t work out as we’d hoped little man, but know that we always did the best we could, and we always did it out of love.
I knew you Adam. I had the privilege of being your Dad. Others only got glimpses, and some saw only that which I shared with them. Today is your day, and you should take centre stage. So this is my tribute to you - I hope you approve.
Love you son. Always.
Our brother … forever
Your beautiful smile
could light up the room,
like a shining beacon,
the sun, and the moon.
Your infectious giggle
and your cheeky grin.
Your tongue poking out
… well where do I begin?
Loving and caring,
courageous and brave.
You taught us all much
about how to behave.
Gadgets, light sabres,
morphers and guns,
you sure were a boy
who liked to have fun.
That fun and that laughter,
those games that we played.
I really must tell you,
I wish you had stayed.
But you'll be in our hearts,
we are birds of a feather.
our brother …. forever.
They say there is a reason
They say there is a reason,
They say that time will heal,
But neither time nor reason,
Will change the way I feel,
For no-one knows the heartache,
That lies behind our smiles,
No-one knows how many times,
We have broken down and cried,
We want to tell you something,
So there won't be any doubt,
You're so wonderful to think of,
But so hard to be without.
As I've said to a few people, yesterday was not a day that any parent can look forward to. But thanks to the people who helped put together the service, and those who came and shared it with us, we will always be able to look back on the day with satisfaction and contentment knowing we did it right for our son.
Here is the message I posted on Facebook last night.
Thank you to everybody who came today as we said goodbye to Adam. And thanks for all the messages of support that we have received. It was such a hard day, the like of which none of us have ever experienced before, nor ever wish to again. I would have liked to have gotten all my words out without breaking down, but I always knew that part was likely to get me and having written it I couldn't leave it out.
The day though hard was also wonderful in its own way. The tone was perfect, just as we had wanted it, and everybody who participated made it what it was.
To Roz and the choir for their beautiful rendition of "I wish I knew ..." and for carrying us all in the hymns, Adam and Hels for the perfect music to accompany us in and out, Lisa for preparing the order of service, Martin Ellis for playing the chapel organ, Emily for delivering Alison's chosen reading in her stead. Sincerest thanks to you all.
Thank you to Canon Esdaile who has been brilliant throughout this difficult process, helping us plan the order of service and conducting the services at the Chapel and Crematorium.
Thank you to Epsom College for not only granting us our wish to use the Chapel for Adam's service, but for providing refreshments afterwards in the College and for giving us their total support throughout.
To my wonderful daughter Jess who somehow transformed herself from an emotional wreck to a tower of strength in order to deliver her reading ... I have a heart bursting with pride. As we left the Chapel I said to her how did you do that? She gave me a nod and said cheekily 'it's a gift'. Well it's definitely something special that's for sure.
And to my little boy whose life we celebrated and death we simultaneously mourned today ... thank you for the love that will live on forever in our hearts. x"
Sweet dreams little man. Daddy loves you so much. Always and forever. x