There is a tiny village, not far from Skegness, that on Monday was simply swamped with people from across the country who came to say goodbye to Peter. I have never seen anything like it. There were literally hundreds of us in the churchyard listening to the service transmitted through speakers.
There were four people who spoke about him. One of them mentioned a sketch Pete and I did in a school concert. We were in the sixth form then. He was Wellington, I was Josephine, and a very short third year was Napoleon. I thought I would have been the only person who still remembered that, though it did manage to be extremely funny - mainly due to Pete.
I am not religious. The service was not especially religious although I am sure it did comfort the faithful, but a prayer said by his mother in law reduced me to tears. She just spoke simply about how we would remember Pete when the blossom comes, and in the heat of a summer day, and when the leaves turn colours in autumn, and on cold and frosty mornings. The thought that he will never again see these simple pleasures was too much for me and many others. As that was immediately followed by his 7 year old daughter reading out a poem about how much she loved her daddy - well you may imagine the effect that had on us.
Pete now lies buried in the beautiful churchyard, dressed apparently in his scuba diving tee shirt and favourite pair of jeans.
I saw many old friends - some of whom I had not seen for 25 years or longer although several of us had also been together for Nigel. As with Nigel's funeral, the comfort gained from these people was significant, and I only hope I gave some of that comfort in my turn. One friend in particular was absolutely beside himself with grief. It was heart breaking to see him like that.
There is still no answer as to why he died. The post mortem was inconclusive. All we are left with is the cold reality that Pete is gone from our lives. But he will always be in our hearts.
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