It was during an English lesson when we were set the task about writing a piece relating to Chapel, that I decided to write about this immense day!
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I know there was a lot going on beside me, in me, around me and behind me but the only thing I can see is Him, the person in the whole world that means literally and physically everything to me. I can’t see the coffin, or the six men struggling with emotion to carry him, but instead his cheeky grin and great sense of fashion walking in front of me helping me through every step.
The blowing flag, half drawn, filling the silence, the presence of people behind me, six men all feeling honoured to be carrying him, the ‘Magic 20’ stood, feeling sadness, respect, love and every other emotion. The atmosphere from this grand and elegant chapel from the outside was phenomenal, I wonder what it’s like inside. How many people are there? How do they know him, or us? How badly has it affected them? Would they be crying? Would they be feeling joy out of his life? What was it going to be like as I walk down the centre with all eyes on me?
The loving and sympathetic smiles from all of Ryan’s friends filled me with warmth. Is that the only thing keeping me from collapsing? I’m walking through the large and intimidating doors. The Marshall, Chaplin, Headmaster and people I don’t even know are all stood there feeling sorry for Mum, Dad and I. Oh My God! Are all these people really here, for Him? Every pew was filled, every cheek had a tear, every eye showed sympathy and every heart was full of love.
I look to the left, familiar faces completely take over my eyes, the tears and love between me and them. A pair of eyes particularly stuck on mine, the one I wanted to see, and the shoulder I need now beside me, the friend I have to have here now. This isn’t real, all those faces here, upset, heartbroken, feeling loss, was it actually happening?
At the age of thirteen, am I actually at my brother’s funeral? Had that morning really happened? Had I held his hand as he stopped? Had I heard him tell me he was dying and how he loved me? Yes, I am actually living the worst nightmare ever. It has hit me and I must look awful because I’ve just burst into tears, I have to be strong for everyone. I have to get up and give a speech, will they like it? Will I be able to? How is Mum, I wish I could be stronger for her, I wish she had a chance to say goodbye. Dad; I need you to hold my hand, I have to be near you and you can’t be there on your own.
I can’t believe I’m here! The silence has become filled with foot steps from family and close friends behind. Turning my head I see my Nan, Grandma and Aunty all of whom have tears trickling down their faces. Many more people crowded in behind as they took in the shivering atmosphere from the people stood watching. Am I really here doing this? This time two weeks ago, I was playing Mario with him, letting him punch me and laughing at all the things he did.
The last two weeks have been unreal, and now I’m stood in this glorious chapel, stained glass figures glancing down at the whole scene, a grand eagle waiting to be spoken from and the majestic presence from the whole chapel make the day as great as a day like this can be. The chapel seems more special and powerful than normal, almost like a lioness proud of what and who it is and at the same time protecting its cubs, the way this hard exterior is protecting me from the outer world. It feels like it’s holding him, not my uncles and my Dad carrying a coffin, but it’s carrying his soul for everyone to talk to, pray to and ask for help. I can’t think if I would’ve wanted it anywhere else other than this place, because he came here all the time and it’s a place where Ryan is being protected wherever he is, and how he is protecting everyone he loved.
Glancing through the faces, he would’ve been honoured to know them and proud of them the same way they are of him. There couldn’t have been a better place for such a traumatic event with such love and care than the Clifton College Chapel. It was perfect.
Charlotte Bresnahan x