So after taking an extra day off after Glastonbury due to one of my best friends dad’s passing away me and Mrs Fay headed up to Springwood Crematoruim in south Liverpool on Wednesday. The occasion was the funeral of one of my best friends dads passing away. As you might know from reading previous blogs whilst blogging I lost my nan then dad and also my mum way back in 2006 so sadly out of all the lads I hang around with am some what an death expert when it comes to bereavement. Today was all about my mate Joel. Due to circumstances we did try to arrange a drink before I bolted off to Glastonbury but we couldn’t so at first opportunity on Monday night we hooked up for the England game though turning up feeling rather “Scatty” we managed a chat before I had to hit the land of sleep as soon as the match finished.
Now moving onto Wednesday and onto the day of the funeral and me and Mrs Fay headed up to Springwood Crem and as a very close group of friends who have known each other for around 25 years (And plus in some cases) many of us had turned up joking about how we would all end up here and the songs going into the crem wont be a sedate Neil Diamond song but Tecehnotronic’s “Pump Up The Jam” or “Insanity” by Oceanic but hopefully them days are long ahead of us being in our forties. So we all entered into the crem and the service started and I was passed an order of service and straight away on the front was a picture of Joel’s dad who I knew as “Joe” My lip wobbled and I thought well it’s only a brief bit of emotion and that would be the height of it. Moving into the service and one of Joel’s dad’s granddaughters ( Siobhan Smith ) who is scouse but now resides in Canada got up for a eulogy. Now I have to be honest that was me gone. I started crying for how brave she was for delivering this speech and for the such kinds words she was saying but also for everyone on the front row of the crem wether it be Wife, sons, daughters or any other family member of the Lawlers. All my mates were sitting around me and I have never shown such emotion in front of them. I am not sure even at at my own parents funeral ? I don’t know as I put myself in a trance for my dads funeral. Maybe it was an after effect of the week I had just had in Glastonbury but in reality it was just me being what I call ” A soft shite” but you know what I am now approaching mid 40’s and despite being called “Big Fay” underneath the very tough exterior is a man with a massive heart, it just sometimes might not come across that way and I was feeling the pain of the loss that was being presented to all those in front of me. Just about holding myself together for the rest of the service (A few tears again during You’ll Never Walk Alone) the congregation left the crem and I shook the vicar’s (Or whatever he was) hand and glanced at the picture of Joe on the way out and I was again in tears. I instantly thought of a Henry Priestman lyric as below.
“I cried today, for the first time since I don’t know when, something touched me its not easy to say I cried today. I watch the hurt, seen it time and time again, standing here, hope slipping away, I cried today”
Eventually after walking out into the sunlight of day I managed to wipe away the tears and pull myself together to become the “Fay” that everybody knows. Then Joel one of my best mates who’s dad’s funeral it was come up to me and we embraced and hug each other very tightly and we just started sobbing. It was a long embrace something I never thought was possible but it was the moment and it just happened and I apologises for the large tear that was sitting on the shoulder of your brand new Hugo Boss suit. I will be honest and say I have never felt a connection like that to a male before and hope never to have that grief again. Don’t worry folks the normal order of the universe was soon back in order as we headed for post funeral beers and we all became “Men again”
To cut a long story short we eventually ended up Lark Lane a haunt of Joel’s dad (He used to run The Albert and St Charles Social club back in the day) we had a half a bitter for him and had already had a lot more in his memory. But I want to admit I cried today for the first time since I don’t know when.
RIP Joe Lawler 7th September 1936 to 20th June 2016
Fay x x x x x x x