So today was the funeral.
Funerals make things real and while we have all muddled through and got on with the last 2 and a half weeks, today was the day that we said our goodbyes to Gill, Amber, Ellie and Pebbles.
I haven't been to many funerals in my life.
My Dad's was a haze of pure and utter grief and I can only really remember the sea of faces and the coffin that unvelievably was housing the body of my father. I do believe that bodies are empty vessels where the spirit lives so I couldn't equate that what was in that wooden box was Dad.
He had gone, moved on, free.
Gill's funeral was very much a celebration of her life.....................and my goodness Gill - what a full and wonderful life you lived!
There was many tears, and also a lot of smiles and laughs as we remembered her qualities and we could see the impact that she had had on so many.
There were photos , lots of them, of Gill and of the dogs and on all of them she was smiling and happy. From teenage Gill cuddling puppies to mother Gill cuddling her husband and son and to recent Gill on the beach with 'her girls'. the wind in her hair and enjoying every minute of her life.
There was beautiful music, there was talks and readings from her ( commendably brave ) family, there were also the 3 little boxes with her dogs ashes inside.
But most of all there was a lot of love in that room.
The flowers were laid outside their house when we all got back, including her fantastic 'flip flop' arrangement.
It was a standing joke that she was always in her flip flops - infact come to think of it , she very rarely wore a coat either although I'm sure there was the odd sighting of a fleece when the Cornish weather got a bit too much .
I will remember her laughing, talking loudly, loving my dogs as well as her own, stood in her kitchen having a banter with me across the yard or watering her plants at the front and giving ours the odd squirt too.
I may have only known her for 4 years, but I am so glad I did get to know her and I am feel immensely privileged that she was one of my friends.
Rest in peace Gill. You will always be with us.