John's Story

funeral stories
Photograph by Mark Tamer

John always sought "the path less travelled". This was, for him, the most natural way to negotiate his way through life. Whichever area of work, his innate creativity, intelligence, will and flair, always led him to new ways of seeing and doing.In this he proved to be an inspiration to those he worked with. He touched people's lives, perhaps, more deeply than he realised, and through his CDs; his healing songs, beautiful voice, and wonderful humour, continues to do so.

What was of paramount importance was to actualise a funeral service to celebrate and honour John's life, in a manner which did him justice. The support I received from Poppy's, in realising this vision, cannot be overstated. Hannah's sense of how to help, and her follow- through on the practical side, was outstanding, at every juncture.

John's funeral is, and will continue to be, the most memorable day of my life. Even after a year, friends still speak of it, which keep those beautiful memories and living connections alive.

There are so many moments I could mention, but the most profound was the time of the service on the barge: looking out of the window - the Autumn day sunny beyond my expectations - while gently moving along the water, as we were listening to John singing. The ease of the falling leaves drifting into the canal, birds swooping onto the water, to rise again, the quality of the reflected light, and the slight hum of the barge. A sense of feeling thoroughly alive and at one with John's presence, in peace and in love; and transpiring from this moment where life and "death" were articulated through beauty, depth and stillness - a sense of one energy pervading it all.

I think John thoroughly enjoyed it !

Listen to John's wonderful voice here.

John's Choices

  • I chose for John to be cremated
  • We held a service on an electric barge, and then in the crematorium chapel
  • John had a cradle shroud with a hand-made felt cover which I have kept
  • We listened to John’s own music
  • The cradle was decorated with natural flower garland
  • We had a celebrant who reflected John’s spiritual beliefs
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