Friday, July 11, 2008

Sean (vic) Reeve.

23rd June 1979---17th June 2008
When we heard the devastating news about sean we just couldn't believe it, as I'm sure you can imagine.
But what made it worse was that sean only had less than a week to go. He was coming home on Sunday 22nd June 2008.
They brought sean home on Monday 23rd June 2008.
That was his birthday.
He would have been 29.
Just one of those things that happen, I guess.
Bob and Rosaleen decided to kep sean in their house on thursday 3rd July so all his friends and family can pay their last respect. Rosaleen said their house was full that night as people came to see sean.

On the Friday 4th July 2008 we arrived at St. Josephs church in Brighton at 1p.m.There were police officers everywhere. As we walked into the church it took our breath away, it was packed.
They were at least 300 people.

We were shown to our seats two rows from the front and my sister and her daughter and son were already there. We joined them.

At 1.45p.m. my brother bob and his wife rosaleen walked in and took their seats at the front.

Shortly afterwards the music started as they brought sean in and laid him at the front of the stage.

The priest welcomed us and started to talk about sean and his family. (Rosaleen is catholic)

His mother Rosaleen, his father Robert, his brother Neil and his sister Heidi.

Sean was the youngest of three.

Sean had written a 11 page 'will' and the priest started to read it out to us.

How sean loved his mother with all his heart and how his father was his hero.

How he used to 'fight' with his brother and sister, as you do when you were younger.

We listened to this and could just imagine sean sitting there writing it probably with a smile on his face.
We also learned that sean had a masters degree in chemistry and management consultant.
He had set up a charity to help the children of Afghanistan as they had no schooling and seans charity was trying to get them books to read.

An hour went by and they then took sean back to the hearse.
We all gathered outside and walked behind the hearse to the crematorium.
The police had stopped all traffic.

It took about 15 minutes to walk there and we all felt so proud and many people stopped and took their hats off and even firemen had stopped their fire engine and stood to attention as we walked by.
It was mind blowing.

On arriving at the crem the pall bearers were 5 of seans friends, the 6th one was bob. His father.

He took his son into the crematorium with such pride.

In the crematorium heidi, his sister said a few words about the brother she loved and how she was going to miss him and a friend of his said how well loved and respected sean was.

Then the curtains closed.

Most of the people there was seans friends who were in the SAS with him.
I must say I have never met such nice gentlemen in my life, and I mean gentlemen.
No lady stood as they immediately gave up their seats for them, and they stood back while the family went outside and look at the wonderful flowers that had been sent to the crematorium.

We were all invited to go to Brighton Racecourse for the wake. A room had been booked for us.
It started as you can imagine with a rush to the bar, the queue was knee deep, as they say.
But once we all got our drinks and sat down talking we noticed a video camera and a screen in the corner of the room. We watched as it showed sean over and over again. All different photos of him and all different poses. By that I mean just general photos, some taken when he was younger and some recently, and some of him in uniform.
It was lovely to look at and it was not over powering as you could look away anytime and not be seen to be rude.
It was your choice.
All this time there was seans favourite music playing, he loved the irish music.

After about an hour the waitresses came out carrying large tins and put them on a table. This went on for some time.
Then a gentleman announced that 'dinner is served'

There was a bit of a rush, as you can imagine, but it wasn't until you went up and had a look at what they serving you suddenly realized just what a spread it was.

Curries, chicken and vegetable.
Onion bhajees,,
You name it, it was there. Everything you could get in a indian restaurant.

It was seans favourite food.

Soon everyone was laughing and talking, introducing themselves to each other, and having a merry time.
I mean no offence by this but we knew this is what sean wanted.

Two gentlemen walked in, one carrying a violin and the other a small drum.
They sat down at a table and started to play the real 'Irish' music.
We clapped and cheered them.
When sean was at home, in brighton, he used to go to the local pub on a tuesday night and listen to these two men playing and singing the irish music. He loved it.
When they heard what had happened to sean they volunterred to come down to the race course and play 'for him.'
It was wonderful.

It really was a very emotional day as you can imagine but sean always said he wanted a happy time and even told everyone not to wear black.
We did of course, out of respect, but we all wore something white or blue to go with it.

Bob and Rosaleen never sat down all day, they were talking to everyone and just mixing with us all.
Although they were 'happy' and laughing you could see the sadness in their eyes.

Geoff and I left at about 11.30p.m. and left my sister and her family there, the next day she told us that it was still going on at about
Just how sean would have wanted it.

At the end of seans 'will' he put a little message for us all to read, It read as follows:

"Finally,of course,the funeral should be followed with a good old fashioned drinkin' session, including all my favourite music. (Goron, Levellers, Pogues, Dubliners, Toots, etc. you know!!!) The last man standing gets my seal of approval! Remember-no fighting!"

Thats exactly what it was, a good old fashioned drinking session (no-one was drunk, by the way)

It was a funeral fit for a king.


Old Plod said...

Dear Annette, may I thank you for sharing your experience of Sean's funeral with the rest of us bloggers. You describe it in such poignant detail that I felt I was at the service and the wake. It is heartening to know our service men and women are rightly held in such high esteem. Whilst it is such a tragedy to lose someone so young, you and the rest of his family can take some comfort from knowing that his contribution to the peace keeping force in Afghanistan was both honourable and very noble. I am certain their efforts will ultimately lead to a safer world for all of us. That being so Sean did not die in vain. A fallen hero of whom we can all be proud. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Sage said...

Annette, this was so moving and touching I am overwhelmed. Sorry for your loss, and he leaves a big gap behind him, but from your description he was well and truly loved and not just by his family but by his colleagues and friends as well. RIP Sean.

dickiebo said...

Well. He WAS a King!

Girl*Next*Door said...

Annette, I'm so glad I made you laugh. I haven't been reading much lately & was so sorry & sad to hear your latest news.

He was a king amongst men & deserved the appropriate goodbye. May he rest in peace & thoughts are with you & the rest of his family, friends & colleagues.

He will never be forgotten.


thoughts running through my head.... said...

Annette,I'm sorry I missed your post-such a beautiful one too,the funeral sounds,how do I explain it without saying the wrong thing as I so often do?-what he deserved if he had to die at all.Glad so many made so much effort to pay their respects.x