Funerally things

15 Sep

Is this day 3?  All the days have blurred into one. We are just putting the finishing touches to the arrangements for Rosie’s funeral – or celebration as we prefer to think of it.  I’ll put the fine details on here tomorrow, but for now, mark Monday Sept 26th on your calendars, round about midday. Venue, Bromesberrow. Gloucestershire.

Rosie lived her life very publically so you are all invited to come along. Rosie didn’t plan her own funeral, so we feel like we are participating in a surreal version of Don’t Tell the Bride, trying to second guess what she’d have liked and what she’d have poured total scorn on. She did stipulate a small number of things though – she wants to be buried; she has to be somewhere easy for family and  friends to visit and we all (that includes you) have to wear black but with a flash of bright colour somewhere. At this point I would like to remind you that there are two different versions of black TKOE tshirts which we still have in stock. There’s also a requirement for the service but you have to come to find out what that is.

So, what have we been up to. Well, leafing through coffin catalogues and discovering that we all have a different point of view about what constitutes a good coffin; spending an afternoon wandering around the three different potential burial grounds marvelling at the different headstones; spending a lot of time saying ‘how much??’; receiving parcel upon parcel from Rosie’s online spending spree; eating lots of giant gummy bear as Rosie had also got Toby one. He wouldn’t allow his picture to be taken, but I can tell you neither his bear nor Chris’s have ears or noses any more.

We’ve also been reading all the blog posts, tributes, cards, letters, Facebook comments and so on.  They are all brilliant. Oh, and we went out for a memorial pub lunch yesterday, which is when Rosie was aiming for. No turkey dinners. But several of us had giant Yorkshire puddings with meat and gravy, which was a Rosie favourite.

That’s about all now. Tune in tomorrow for the funeral details.



29 Responses to “Funerally things”

  1. Tracey September 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    When my best friend died she had a wicker basket instead of the traditional coffin. It was beautiful. Im out of the country until the weekend but my priority when Im back will be ordering a t shirt. My own little tribute to your amazing daughter xx

  2. Deborah Morgenstern September 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    How utterly typical of Rosie to stipulate a dress code for her own funeral.

    I was looking yesterday at a photo of Rosie that we still have up on the tutorial wall – from when she was in Year 11 I think. We’d all dressed up as Christmas things (Ciaran had made himself a penguin costume!) and Rosie had her school trousers rolled up to reveal a pair of unbelievably bright stripy stockings.

    I think I have an idea for what I might wear 🙂

    I’m so glad we will be able to celebrate Rosie’s life with so many friends. I’m over the crying now (mostly…) and can’t help but smile every time I think of her (okay, I may still have tears in my eyes while I smile). She was WONDERFUL.

    • Michelle September 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      I read the word penguin and thought – you’re going as a penguin – what?? 🙂 But it does fit the black with a dash of colour theme!
      I obviously need some sleep, way too tired 😉

  3. Deb Walker September 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    In our diaries!

    Love and big ‘virtual hugs’ …. yes, even for Chris!!!
    Deb and gang

  4. Andrea Clarke September 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Hi Jo
    I remember when my parents died, it was kind of like time stood still, it felt as though i was wading through water and getting absolutely nowhere, the days seemed twice as long as normal, so i know what you mean about ‘is this day 3’.

    I cannot even begin to understand how you must all be feeling, but you are all in my thoughts.

    i never met Rosie and only knew her through this blog, and talking to you Jo, but i feel like i’ve lost a friend. I’m not going to forget Rosie, i meant it when i said she would always be in my heart, and whenever things get tough here i’ll think of Rosie and know that i can get through it.

    I’m sad that i’m not going to be able to be with you on 26th. I have a work thing that i won’t be able to get out of. however i can be with you in spirit – i shall wear black, and i know just what the flash of colour will be – inspired by the video of Rosie that they played on the beeb in tribute, where her nails looked gorgeous, i shall make my nails a riot of colour, probably Chanel’s Miami Peach which is glorious.

    Much love to you all

  5. Michelle September 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I’ve just read your post to my Fatman and he said it’s quite obvious where Rosie got her sense of humour and her writing abilities from. Lovely post Jo, funny, touching and superbly written.

  6. barbara September 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    You are all amazing.I shall try and come to the funeral but it is a bit far from North Wales to drive on my own but I will try.I do hope you are going to take on the challenge of doing a book about Rosie’s life.She was so inspirational.Even if it is only transcribing her blogs onto paper.I shall never,ever forget Rosie.She has so touched my life(and I’m an oldie).So much love to you all.I’m just thinking about you all the time and just can’t imagine how you all are.

  7. Janet Harper (Jan, Silas' mum!) September 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    It will be an honour to join you in celebrating the life of beautiful Rosie. Thinking of you all x

  8. barbara September 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    I forgot to ask how Toby is coping.Such a big thing for him.Can you tell us,please?

    • Mel - Toby's mum September 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      At the moment, Toby is very sad in a quiet and subdued sort of way. Jo and Chris, in an extremely sensitive and thoughtful move, have involved him in the funeral arrangements and I think this is helping him a great deal. Although somewhat camera shy(!) he is in fact quite a sociable person with a wonderful group of very supportive friends that I’m sure will help him get through. (We’ll do our best too).

      Thanks for asking after him.

      • Michelle Gabriel September 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

        It must be so difficult. A young man, just on the brink of going to Uni, and this happens.
        It could be a life shattering event, but, with such a positive group of people, and with Rosie’s outlook too, it might not be that way. Little steps, lots of loving and hopefully it will be okay.
        I believe, from what I’ve read, Toby is a strong young man. Hopefully he will do well. Rosie will be with him all his life, but not in a haunty way, in a kindly, guiding way.
        Not sure if I’ve written that right, not sure it’s come out well, but my sentiments are (sort of) there.

  9. ro September 15, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    It might be a complete invasion of the event, but just wondering if you’d considered recording or videoing it…? It would be lovely for those of us who followed Rosie’s story but can’t attend to be able to see what happened and what lovely things were said. Understandable if you don’t feel it’s appropriate though. Thinking of you all, and enjoy your gummy bears. Ro

  10. celia butler September 15, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Lots for you to do and decide, but there is no doubt at all that whatever you plan for Rosie’s celebration will be perfect.
    And it’s very good to know that you managed the pub lunch, Rosie would certainly approve. Thinking of you all. x

  11. Chris September 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Dear Jo, Chris, family, Toby and all,

    Thank you for the lovely post and thoughts, Rosie changed many peoples way of thinking and opened up your Kilburn family to the world. As Mic said thank you for the lovely comments and Bev and I can also see where Rosie gained such a lovely sense of humour and great outlook on the world. I think if Rosie could write to answer your mail she would be saying Well Done Mum and Dad, you have a much larger family to share life with now.

    Jo, you always have to celebrate young peoples lives, especially someone like Rosie, she is one in a million, an angel in many ways. Good to see and hear Rosie as set you a few challenges about where she want to be buried and how she can be visited over the coming days, weeks, months and years. Rosie was much wiser than many her age, never mind about our ages, (smile). She as set you and Chris a task she knew would be hard but a rewarding one because all her friends are going to try and join you, but also visit Rosie for many years to come.

    Sorry to hear choosing a coffin would be so hard; Yep, even Rosie would be saying How Much? too. I know Rosie will be happy at what ever you choose and she will always have visitors. Good to hear Rosie’s parcels are still arriving, I think she planned it that way to keep you smiling through some tearful moments I am sure you each of had. I love the gummy bears idea, Rosie had an eye for the unique presents and I bet Chris and Toby are proud of their bears, I love the idea of blue Rasberry favoured jelly bear. Sorry Toby wouldn’t have his picture taken with his bear; Jo, try and get Toby to have his picture taken for Rosie’s book, because I think her life and story needs to be told and remembered too. You should think about a book of rememberance for her funeral so everyone can sign to say they visited. Rosie is an inspiration to everyone fighting and living with cancer, Rosie showed a great example and way forward to celebrate our lives with our families and friends around us, more so being open with the world rather than hide and suffer in silence. Rosie was a very brave and lovely young lady, a pleasure to know and call a good friend too.

    Great to hear you kept Rosie’s planned trip to the pub and had a memorial meal in her honour, I bet Rosie was there in heaven picking which was the best meal for you to eat and making sure it was on the menu that day too; as a Yorkshire man born and bred you picked a good choice with the Yorkshire Pud, meat and gravy meal, Rosie choice of food and taste is great, even her turkey and gravy meal sounds good to me too.

    Lots of special vibes to all your family Jo and Chris, if Bev and I can we will try and be at the funeral but if cannot make it we will visit her grave with flowers, but please don’t forget to tell us all which flowers Rosie liked best, I wouldn’t like to be told off by Rosie for bring the wrong ones, (grin). Hope everything goes well over the next few days but please remember you are also part of our extended families so please don’t be a stranger in our lives too. Lots of love from us all,

    Bev and Chris, xxx

  12. laura-louise wyatt September 16, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    hi, you wont know me 🙂 but rosie’s cousin kate davidson is my best friend, i just wanted to send my love to you all! i understand it’s a whole different level of sadness when it’s your own daughter but i can kind of relate to how your feeling, as cancer runs in my family on my dads side and ive lost lots of people to it. it never gets any easyer but it makes me feel a lot better knowing there not suffering anymore! sylvie and calum have there very own gardian angel to watch over them now! i wish you all the best for the future, and i admire you all for the way that you have handled this, when my favorite uncle died i locked myself in my room for ten days.

    ive asked for a TKOE t-shirt for my birthday in october
    love you all lots, im so so so so sorry for the loss of your amazing daughter!

    laura xxxx

  13. Pip Armstrong September 16, 2011 at 7:15 am #
    Made in God’s own country and endorsed by one of your neighbours in Gloucestershire, as far as coffins ever could be lovely these really are :o)

  14. Georgina September 16, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Well done all of you! A horrible job but you are all doing it with the love, humour and support you have always shown for each other. You are doing a great job and all of us are very proud of you, as would have been your lovely little lady – Rosie.

    I look forward to seeing you all on the 26th and celebrating the amazing life that was Rosie’s.

    Much love and sunny hugs to you all from me – Georgina xxxx

  15. Maz September 16, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I love the idea of bright colours, we insisted on that for my Dads and the church was full of colour and people talking about things he had done and funny stories, made it so much more of a celebration of his life. So sounds perfect for Rosie.
    The coffins are so expensive! I remember the how much comments well LOL, a friend had a cardboard one and all those present wrote messages on it and they stuck ones from those of us who couldnt go and she was buried with all our messages.

    There is a poem called the dash, very apt for someone who made the most of her dash

    • Michelle Gabriel September 16, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      I love that poem Maz and Rosie certainly did a lot with her dash 🙂

    • Julia September 16, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      I agree Maz, it certainly should be a celebration of the person’s life, and I like the idea of messages all over the coffin especially from people who couldn’t be there.

  16. Elena September 16, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    You are all doing wonderfully. I had similar thoughts to the lady above regarding maybe recording some of Rosie’s funeral. I would love to come and celebrate her life but I will be on my honeymoon and it’d be wonderful to be able to hear the beautiful things people will say. Obviously it’s entirely understandable if you feel it’s an invasion but you don’t ask, you don’t get!

    I love the idea of flashes of bright colours everywhere. And the other stipulation for during the service is very curious.

    Thinking of you all xxx

  17. Natalie Bones September 16, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Thank you for keeping us updated, Jo, we all really appreciate it. You are wonderful. xxx

  18. margaret crisp September 16, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    Hello team kilburn, I am sorry I won’t be able to attend the funeral as I am back in France, but feel so honoured to have been able to carry out my promise to Rosie, by actually meeting her. I will be there in spirit at her funeral, as I will have some minutes of silence and thoughts here, during the time of the funeral on the 26th.Jill Clayton, who is hopefully able to attend the funeral will also be representing me.
    Over the last two years, like many people on here, I felt I knew Rosie pretty well. I miss the asking ‘has Rosie written?” early every morning when John goes on the computer at 6a.m.. I miss the several times a day looking in at the comments, and the time I spent trying to compose a suitable reply to her fantastic writing.
    I am glad you were able to have a pub lunch and hope that Calum settles well when he goes to college and that Sylvie settles well back into school. It is good that you are having a celebration of Rosie’s life – perhaps on the anniversarer death or on her birthday you will all be able to go out as a family, so that the date is not just remembered with sorrow.
    Thinking of you all, Jo, Chris, Calum (one L Rosie,), Sylvie and Toby,
    love mags.

  19. Holly vernall September 16, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I’d happy to celebrate Rosie’s life!
    Thinking of you all xxx

  20. Elliot Leaver September 16, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    The date is marked off and I will be there – regardless of lectures that may be on that day. I agree with Debs – it’s very ‘Rosie’ to ask for bright colours, will definitely add a sparkle.

    As with the above posts, I am also thinking of you all – you are all in my prayers xxx

  21. Carrie September 16, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Thank you Jo for keeping us updated. You are doing a fabulous job and I agree, it is easy to see where Rosie got her wit and writing ability from! I’m so sorry I won’t be able to be at the funeral, as I have no one to look after my baby for me and you probably don’t want a wailing 4-month-old upstaging the event. But I shall observe the dress code on the day and have a few minutes of silence to remember Rosie, and I would love to hear all about it, so please do let us know how it goes. Love to you all. xxx

  22. Kirsty September 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I have the date firmly in my diary. The gummy bears and Yorkshire pudding sound wonderful and I am sure Rosie would have enjoyed the thought of you opening the many on line gifts! I hope you are able to find a coffin which feels just right for Rosie’s resting place. Xxx my thoughts are with you and your family all over the next few days.

  23. Catherine September 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Celebrating a life is so important, especially one so impressive as Rosie’s. At my father-in-law’s funeral earlier this year, we worked very hard to make it a celebration, sharing all our happiest, funniest and silliest memories of him. Towards the end, someone came up to us and said ‘I’m not quite sure if this is the right thing to say, but this is the most fun I’ve had at a funeral’ – it was the perfect thing to say.

  24. Claire September 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I was listening to radio 4 yesterday & someone (who might even have been a funeral director) said that whenever his family ask what kind of funeral he wants he replies “just surprise me”. I thought Rosie might have laughed at that.
    Love to you all

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