...for all the kind words. Obviously, today wasn't an easy day, by any stretch of the imagination, but...it was the best kind of funeral - a celebration of a man's life, as much as (if not more than) mourning his loss. Between his passion for sports (he played cricket extensively, and apparently could have gone professional had he wanted to, and played for the MCC), his business life (I hadn't realised that there was such a thing as a market research community through which word of his death had spread), his charitable work for the Lord's Taverners (whose chief executive, I think it was, gave a particularly glowing tribute), and his generally gregarious nature, I hadn't realised just how many lives he'd touched - ahead of the funeral my mum said that apparently 200 people were expected. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure more than that were there. Certainly, when I got up to say my little piece, it was quite daunting to see such a large crowd - mostly complete strangers to me. And, given that, as I've said before, I didn't see him anywhere near as often as I'd've liked over my life, it was kind of pleasing to hear so many of my impressions of him echoed in the tributes that other people paid over the course of the service.
After the main service, immediate family went to the crematorium for a more intimate farewell, which was helpful. It still all feels horribly weird and unreal. Every time I think of him, it's followed by a "oh, I'm never going to see him again," and at least three times over the course of the past three weeks (twice today) I've seen a person, thought, "oh, there's dad," and then realised no, it can't be him. Because. There's a horribly large dad-shaped hole in the world, and I don't know how long it'll take before that properly sinks in (Boxing Day is going to be especially weird without him - or indeed his dad, who died in January - this year), but it's comforting to know that he was loved and respected by so many people.