Oh my

27 Sep

Oh my goodness! What a day we all had. Will try later to put a proper link to some pictures. But whilst you’re waiting, go to the This is Gloucestershire website and you can see a whole series they’ve published.

So, let’s see. A bit of behind the scenes stuff first. Sylvie and I went off to see Rosie in the morning. Sylvie watched as Rosie’s coffin was closed so that the funeral director could prove to her that she was indeed the last person to see her. Rosie looked very lovely – she too was wearing black with a flash of bright.

The flowers were beautiful – ivy and rose garland round the coffin and then white, purple, pink scented flowers all over the top. Sylvie had requested something small and cute and then random pinky red roses, and that’s what we got. The coffin was a wicker one with turquoise bands round it. Lots of people said they’ve never seen a beautiful coffin before, and it was.

Over at the village hall, Rosie’s friends had decorated the stage with things from her bedroom; put up purple bunting (you can get funeral bunting, but only in America you know), put jam jars with stripy lollies in on all the window sills and somehow, had blown up 250 balloons.

And then people started arriving. And arriving. And arriving. And arriving. . . . and arriving. The hall was packed, and people were standing and sitting on the patio. We reckon 400+,  of all ages, from all over the country and abroad. People had gone out for a walk and picked hedgerow flowers, raided neighbours gardens and put together intricate bouquets of lollies and even a chilli pepper.  And everyone had observed Rosie’s explicit dress code. Lots of people were wearing TKOE tshirts and domino jewellery.

If you look at Rosie’s blog on 2nd July this year, you can see what she thought of the poet Tony Walsh. Amazing man that he is, he agreed not only to write a poem for us about Rosie, but also to act as the MC. He was brilliant, and we are working out with him how best to make the poem available. Although for best effect we will all need to ask him to come and perform it in our living rooms.

Rosie arrived to the track from Matilda, Send  Me on my Way, and sat resplendent on the stage with all her stuff.

Lots of family, friends, school and work mates read out tributes to Rosie. It’s fair to say Gwen stole the show.  Chris sneaked in a Bruce Springsteen track, Terry’s Song, which would have amused Ro and did appal Sylvie.  Tony read his poem, Lin read Sylvie’s eulogy and then Rosie left to Long Live the Queen by Frank Turner.

Rosie led several hundred of us down the country lane to the churchyard, where Tony the rector led a simple and very lovely burial service. No one fell down the hole.

Then we all walked back and whilst people got hot pork and stuffing rolls and ice cream from an ice cream van, there was a chance for other people to speak, kicked off by Harriet. And then there was a chance for everyone to write a message for Rosie and 250 balloons floated off. There are pictures on Facebook and a video on YouTube which again, I’ll work out how to link you up to.

The sun shone, the birds sang. Cal had 4 ice creams that we know of, and Chris partook of a deal of cider.  Sylvie’s shoes went down a storm. At the end of the afternoon, a band of people went and placed all the bunches of flowers that people had bought with them on Rosie’s grave, and another band of people swept and washed up and packed up and restored the hall back to itself again.

We had a wonderful day. On Sunday I had been wondering how to break the news to Chris, Cal,  Sylvie and Toby that I didn’t think I could make it to the funeral. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. It was a real team effort and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it such a special day. Rosie would have loved it.

The Knock on Effect continues – we’ve had so many donations, so we’ll let you know how much and where we are donating it to, once it’s all been counted. There’s a table top sale in October; a Zumbathon in November and various other things being plotted. Details will go on here soon. And sales are going brilliantly.

19 years life lived to the full.



39 Responses to “Oh my”

  1. Hannah September 27, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    It really was a beautiful day. I was struck by how much it did feel like a celebration despite the fact I cried my face off. You all did so well. It’s funny too, the Send Me on My Way song, I’ve always associated it with Rosie because I remember her and Amy sat on the balcony in Turkey with candles burning all around them listening to it out of some tinny iPod speakers.

  2. Pip Armstrong September 27, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    This is the link to the balloon release, just looked it up.
    I think you all did brilliantly on a very difficult day and if ever you could have loved your own funeral I’m very sure that Rosie would have done just that.
    Her coffin was beautiful and what a very lovely place she is buried too 🙂
    I should put your feet up and enjoy the sunshine for the next few days now, I’m sure you must all be exhausted
    ‘A hearty handshake’ to you all and see you soon
    G, P and H x

  3. Dominic September 27, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Tears on my cheeks but a smile for having ever read Rosie’s words. Glad everyone gave her a beautiful send off.



  4. Pip Armstrong September 27, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Oops I think I meant ‘ a firm handshake’ but maybe they’re much the same thing anyway 🙂

  5. Holly vernall September 27, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    This was the most amazing day ever!
    Everything was perfect, the coffin was perfect and beautiful.
    I thought to myself ‘What a lovely day’ which isn’t often what you think about a funeral. But I felt so cheerful afterwards that Rosie had an amazing send off from an amazing bunch of people who loved her so much. I can’t express how lovely the day was!
    The balloon release was awesome.
    She would have loved it, what a perfect day for a perfect girl!

    Thank you, Holly xxx

  6. Liz Kidd September 27, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Can’t begin to express how beautiful it all was yesterday and how touching Jo. You have already described it far better than I could. It all had Rosie (as I have come to know her in her blog) written all over it. The role of the poet Tony was just inspired and his poem amazing (where can we read it?) but no more beautiful and inspired than all the other tributes and arrangements. Well done everyone. Be kind to yourselves and just feel so pleased and proud with what you and Rosie have all done together. It was a priviledge to read her work and to be there with you all yesterday. Beautiful!

  7. J. Palmer September 27, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I am very touched by this entry. Rosie’s passing has made me realise that life is fragile. I am more determined to live the life i want to lead (i am overcoming mental health issues). Her courage and genorosity in adversity has deeply affected me. Rosie’s tragic passing has helped me push myself mentally into a position where i am beginning to see the whole picture of life rather than just bits of it. Thanks for that Rosie.
    Bye x

  8. dawn September 27, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    A day of hearbreak yet celebration all in one go and those pesky tears to prove it! I think the amazing family and friend speeches were to blame for prompting most of those of course! Being led by Rosie in her pretty coffin with those gorgeous flowers to that quaint little church was such a moving experience. What a peaceful spot for Rosie to rest and what a fabulous send off for her. Even the sun came out to play in her honour, in readiness for the hog roast and ice cream bonanza! The balloon release was a particularly lovely sight to behold against that blue sky. Well done family Kilburn. You did yourselves and Rosie soooo very proud.
    Love dawn and fam x

  9. Deborah Morgenstern September 27, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I think we did her proud.

    It was a lovely day, everything was perfect, the coffin was SO beautiful and the balloon launch (it’s not a launch, it’s hundreds of people accidentally letting go of their balloons at the same time) was inspired. The ice cream van… well, that was Pure Rosie.

    Team Kilburn once again prove that no challenge is beyond them.

    I’m so glad I was there, and glad Rosie was there with us.


  10. Louise E Gisby September 27, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Just amazing – just Rosie.

    Louise & Nathan x

  11. Dollydimple September 27, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Wow, looks and sounds like a terrific send off – unique, just like Rosie x

  12. Amy September 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    I still can’t believe Sylvie could walk in those shoes! She looked absolutely beautiful in Ro’s dress too! And Gwen really did do an amazing job, I was crying all over the place watching her! Well done, you did a brilliant job and Ro would have loved it! Lots of love x

  13. Chloe Taylor-Jones September 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    It was a very beautiful ceremony and a chance to say goodbye to Rosie who was taken away from us too soon.

    Thank-you for letting us share your grief and celebrations too.

    19 years lived to the full.


  14. Helen September 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Sounds perfect, wow – incredible. xx

  15. celia butler September 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    One word to sum it all up – awesome.
    Never to be forgotten. x

    • Michelle Gabriel September 27, 2011 at 3:17 pm #


  16. Andrea Clarke September 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    It sounds like a glorious celebration of Rosie – I wish i could have been there with you all. as i couldn’t i’ve signed up for the zumbathon instead!


  17. Natalie Bones September 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    You did so well Jo. Thank you for giggling and smiling all the way through (all of you!), it really made the day much happier xxx

  18. margaret crisp September 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Hi Team Kilburn, sounds as if you’ve all been on a roller coaster of emotions in the last couple of days, let alone the last few weeks!! Thankyou for keeping us up to date, Jo…Although I wasn’t there yesterday I have seen so many tributes,reports, pictures, orders of service etc that I feel that I was…..! I think Rosie would have been tickled pink to hear some ghastly young boy had been deprived of his chocolate ‘cos they’d closed the Thornton shop in tribute to her…
    If I were a doctor I think I’d prescribe some ‘Kilburn time -out’ now, time for the team to rest, relax and recover a bit, etc etc. before preparing to swell the knock on effect christmas coffers with a vengeance!!!

  19. Janet Harper (Jan, Silas' mum!) September 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    So many beautiful moments. Rosie’s exquisitely pretty coffin, the wonderfully inspired words and poems, the ice-cream van, incongruous, funny and just perfect and then the magic of the balloon release…..vibrant, colourful and calm……so Rosie.
    A sad day full of joy…amazing.
    With love

  20. Josie September 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Yesterday was like no funeral that I have ever been to before.
    The beautiful, beautiful wicker coffin.
    Everyone standing when Rosie arrived and when she left.
    That powerfully sad poem.
    The autumnal trees and birdsong around her grave.
    It’s a day that none of us will ever forget.
    All credit to you & Chris, Calum and Sylvie. You are amazing people!
    With love, Josie x

  21. Sue H September 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Beautiful quirky send off, completely right for Ro. I thought Tony Walsh was superb and how cool is it to have a poet at your funeral!
    It was lovely to hear from Rosie’s wider family who she mentioned so often and looked forward to seeing so much. All the eulogies were so thoughtful and moving.
    Kept thinking- ‘Ro would love this!’

    We all miss her xx

  22. Green Ribbon September 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    it was the most beautiful unique thought provoking day, I feel honoured to have been a part of it. It truly was in every possible way the perfect ‘sending on her way’ Rosie deserved she would have been so very proud 😀 My mum came with me to the funeral as i didnt know many other people attending, she sat next to me and cried… and cried… and cried! The way the event had touch my mother made me smile ear to ear and realise that Rosie, even after passing can STILL touch so many lives my mum never had the amazing opportunity to meet Rosie but I know after yesterday the comments, memories and love she gave to all will be remembered by her and I thank you again Rosie Kilburn for inspiring another love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  23. carol lewis September 27, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Dear Team Kilburn
    So sorry to hear your sad news, went on holiday on the 12th & came home today to be told that Rosie is no longer with us.
    Your daughter was an amazing girl, cancer is something that should not be kept quiet & swept under the carpet & she put it out there warts & all. Keep blogging as it will help you to grieve & understand why.
    Luv to you all
    I will miss Rosie so much

  24. Michelle Gabriel September 28, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Jo, Chris, Calum and Sylvie
    You did Rosie proud. As did everyone else.
    It’s a day never to be forgotten. A beautiful day, full of love and friendship, laughter and tears, all mixed together. Thank you for letting me be part of it.
    And thank you too, to Rosie, for her generous spirit, her inclusivity, her warmth, kindness and fun loving spirit. Long live the queen 🙂

  25. jill Clayton September 28, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    This is the Facebook link. Lovely photos.

    • jill Clayton September 28, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      Sorry. For some reason, web addresses i put on the blog always disappear. Maybe it’s because I’m on Apple. Anyway, if you Google Rosie , facebook and RIP, it should take you there – I hope

      • Andrea Clarke September 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

        HI Jill, i’ve tried everything but can’t find the photos on facebook – any other hints on how to search – much appreciated

  26. Tony Walsh September 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    (Hmm? I posted yesterday but it’s disppeared??)

    Hugely well done to Team Kilburn on a truly wonderful tribute to the truly wonderful Rosie.Thank you for inviting me to play a part in such a special and memorable event. I’m hugely pleased and relieved if people think that my poem struck the right note – many thanks for all the comments etc. Jo and Chris have a copy of the poem now whilst we think about how best to release it and if/how it can raise some funds for TKOE. Very well done to everyone who took part on Monday, my thanks and best wishes to all. Tony xx

    • Claire September 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      You’re still there; last comment on 26th.Blog post gremlin poem coming on?

      • Tony Walsh September 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

        Thanks, Claire. That’s strange – I can only see my re-post! Yep, gremlins it must be! *reaches for his quill* 🙂

  27. Jane September 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Dear Team Kilburn, it was a privilege to be part of Rosie’s send-off and something none of us will ever forget. You did an amazing job, the day was a perfect reflection of the amazing Rosie 🙂 much love to you all xx

  28. Kirsty September 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    When I came home people kept asking how things went and I kept apologising for saying it was a beautiful funeral. It seems odd to call it beautiful but it really was, from the readings to the music and the poems to the small details. I tried to explain how the funeral had been compared which never felt like the right word but describe the occasion perfectly. His poem was incredible. It was read out like only a poet could. The wonderful ice cream and roast was a great gift and seeing so many people let go of gallons by accident was a lasting memory. The casket was perfect and people’s splashes of colour added to the day. It really was a wonderful funeral 🙂

  29. Debbie September 29, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    It was indeed an amazing day. Beautiful, colourful, candid, expressive, inclusive, affectionate, unconventional, imaginative, life-affirming, exemplary and hugely memorable. Just like Rosie. Well done Team Kilburn!

  30. jill Clayton September 29, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    There are beautiful photos in today’s Newent Forester (paper edition) The online edition is a week late unless you. pay (like the Times).

    • Michelle September 29, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      You can subscribe for a free 7 day trial. http://www.theforester.co.uk/index.cfm
      Online subscription is just under the main banner, where the blue arrows are 🙂
      And thank you Jill for letting us know.

  31. Georgina September 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Well I think Rosie’s funeral is the happiest I have been to!!! Yes, there were tears but there was also SO much laughter.

    A huge effort had been made to give the little lady a special send off and how that was achieved. The venue was perfect – the village hall – (how many parties had she been to there?), the weather was wonderful (Rosie were you up there arranging that?), there was bunting, lollies, flowers, and people – family, friends, friends and more friends, a pig roast, wine, cider and ice cream and then there were balloons!!!!!!!!!!! My friends will not believe that I went to a funeral because all that sounds like the ingredients for a party – well in a way it was – because we were all there to celebrate Rosie’s life and that was done very well.

    It has been a privilege to know her and through Rosie, her family, as has been said loads of times – you have all been amazing – and that is how her send off was – really amazing – well done all – you should be proud of yourselves.

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with all of us.

    Big hug and much love – Georgina xx

  32. jill Clayton September 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Hi Michelle, If you put both Rosie’s names and the phrase “gone but never forgotten” in the search box, you should be there. Thank-you for noticing the free trial of The Forester. I think the photo on the front page, showing that lovely coffin, is particularly beautiful. Regards, Jill

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