Martin's funeral was yesterday. It started at 10am and ended when we rolled Ange out of Martin's Dad's house about 6pm. The requiem mass was moving - those hymns set me on the hunt for my tissues pretty quickly - and the burial even more so. Everyone took turns placing a shoveful of soil in the grave, while a tui chattered away like a broken robot in a gum tree nearby. Then Martin's father and brothers filled in the grave themselves with shovels, and most of the men took turns until it was all done. It didn't rain, there was no wind. Sweeney talked loudly about how he didn't want to wear gumboots.
Then on to Martin's father's house for food and stories and music. And for me, more story-reading to pre-schoolers than I thought possible. At one stage I had Sween and Cohen vying for the best spot on my lap. We spent ages poring over photos of Martin and his family in kodachrome days on a wall covered in images of him. A picture of Martin and Sweeney moments after Sweeney's birth took pride of place, I saw one woman snap a copy of it with her cellphone. Rex had gathered up a band who performed some of Martin's songs, and they rocked the backyard.
It was a hard day, but a good day.