The drive was smooth. The roads were clear all the way. At about fifteen minutes out of town, Fred stopped the car after a bridge and we got out to enjoy the scenery. It was beautiful. The calm dark blue water of the lake made everything look so perfect. We took some photos then continued with the trip.
We parked the car inside the church compound and walked in. The service had already started. A hymn was being sung. The projector in front and some screens placed strategically in the church had lyrics of the song which made it easier for us to sing too. We sat down and listened to the reading of the day.
From where I was seated, I could see Shawn dressed in a black outfit. He was looking down on the floor. You could tell this was hard for him. I looked on my right side and I saw my mum seated three chairs in front of us. Even though I could not see her outfit well, her black fascinator hat looked so good. Regal. It was tilted on her left side of her head with her long hair held in a low ponytail. After I was done checking people out, I focused on the church proceedings.
Shawn’s mother was celebrated so much. The two speakers who were invited to talk on behalf of the family gave a moving speech on her charity work around the community. Shawn also stood up and spoke. Although short, the speech was so emotional that I shed a tear. Fred held my shoulders as I quickly wiped the tears away. About an hour or so, the church service was over. The coffin was carried out of the church by family members to the graveyard. The church elders and the pastor followed, then the other extended family members followed the procession. The rest of us followed behind.
The rites of committal took place. The pastor prayed for the departed soul and the family. From where I was standing, I could see Shawn. I silently moved to where he was and stood next to him. He looked at me then nodded. Then the family members were invited to give their farewells. Shawn placed the rose flower that he held and placed it on the coffin. His other family members did the same before they all sprinkled soil to the coffin. As the pastor said his last prayer, the coffin was slowly lowered to the grave. A hymn was slowly sang. Shawn suddenly held my left hand and squeezed it. I looked at him and noticed he was crying.
Afterwards, we were all invited to a reception at Shawn’s home. The house was like ten minutes away. Most of the guests decided to walk as the parking spaces would be limited for all the cars. Fred gave us a moment after the introductions with Shawn. I decided to walk with Shawn. He did not say much. He just walked. As we approached the house, Shawn invited us in and held the door for us to go in.
There were various drinks which were placed on a table at almost every corner of the house. I took one and stood looking at the guests. They were talking in hushed voices. Shawn came to where I was and leaned on the wall.
“Thank you for coming. I am sorry I did not let you know what had happened. I did not have your number.” He said.
“No worries. My mum informed me about it.” I replied.
“It has been a bit hectic for me for the past few days.” He continued. “I am glad mum got a decent funeral.”
“Yes. She must be so proud of you.”
“I hope so.”