Saying goodbye

In the week since Kip’s funeral, several people have messaged asking to hear the eulogy.

Well, there wasn’t just on eulogy; we had contributions from friends and family as well as on each from Sarah and I. There was plenty in the way of laughter (obviously laughter!) and sadness and dancing (obviously dancing!) and tears.

As we arrived at the crematorium, the local Scouts had formed a guard of honour, saluting Kip as he arrived and shouting “Smelly Pants Wee!” at the tops of their voices.

Everyone placed a flower on Kip’s coffin before we went in; Kip’s two grandfathers, my dear friend Andy and I carried him while Millie led the way.

There were beautiful songs to open, beautiful songs to close, and a silly tune in the middle. If you’d like to listen, there’s a playlist on Spotify here.

Long story short, we had a difficult but beautiful service, and here’s what I had to say about him:

Kip was born on the 3rd of May 2016 in a warm pool in a softly lit room, into so much love and gratitude. Short breaths and tears marked his arrival.

In the beginning – we held him in our arms, we told him that we loved him, that he was a wonderful gift, and we would always be there for him. Our hearts were made whole and together we cried.

We took him home to a wonderful little girl who that morning became a big sister in our perfectly formed family.

He grew, and learned, and crawled, and walked, and pooped, shouted and sang, danced and ran, listened, loved and above all – laughed.

And – I know you’re meant to eulogise in a eulogy but – he could be annoying too. And frustrating, and give me a thump when he didn’t get his way, and break things and eat what he shouldn’t and not eat what he should.

Because he was a little boy; a perfect example because he did all the bad and good that we could have hoped for.

For five years, two months, five days, fourteen and a half hours.

Cruelly, unlikely complications from an unlikely course of an unlikely illness abruptly took Kip from us.

Kip died on the 8th of July 2021, in a warm embrace in the dappled sunlight of our back garden, surrounded by love and gratitude. Short breaths and tears marked his passing.

In the end – we held him in our arms, we told him that we loved him, that he was a wonderful gift, and we would always be there for him. Our hearts were broken and together we cried.

But the laughter though… Did any boy ever laugh so much? Did anyone who had such compelling reasons to be downbeat and dejected ever respond with such silliness and sniggering? When he had an operation, we’d play The Farting Song so everyone was in a good mood. When the nurses needed to take a blood sample from his finger, sometimes he’d wave his hand around, or run to the other side of the room, or say they could only check his blood pressure if they played the Bird Game with him.

He would share his chips and make people sing or dance with him, or use a urine bottle as a tennis racket. How can a little child hooked up to bags of chemotherapy use a drip stand as a skateboard? When a medic returned from holiday and said “Kip I’ve missed you”, he responded “of course you did”.

And the dancing. In the world of swinging your bum side to side, Kip was a champion. Had a central line fitted? Then grab a spoon and play air drums to some Northern Soul. He liked to move it move it. And to Pump Up The Jam. Two days before being admitted for stem cell transplant, he was doing an Edith Piaf impressions. Even the day before he died, when he could barely move his body, he bopped his head to Shania Twain, waved his arm in time to Prince Charming.

It is this, I think, that makes the separation most acute. That joy in the moment, often in such stark distinction to his circumstances brought so much to us. It’s an energy that can’t be replaced, but we will always remember.

Thank you Kip, for being the most cheerful and wonderful boy.

We are so humbled by the messages we have received from around the world about the impact Kip had on people’s lives. He brought laughter and tears and comfort and joy to those who knew him and thousands who didn’t.

And we are humbled by the donations made to our GoFundMe; we had an initial target of maybe £2,000 and now we’re at £38,000!

This means we can make huge donations in Kip’s name to our chosen charities (Equalize Health and World Child Cancer) on top of donations already made to Young Lives Vs Cancer, the Anthony Nolan Trust and UNICEF.

If you would like to donate, please click here.

We also have fundraising t-shirts, hoodies and masks here. (All profits are being split between our chosen charities).

Together we can ensure that Kip’s legacy brings comfort and healing to thousands of children and families around the world.

Thank you for being with us on this journey.

2 thoughts on “Saying goodbye

  1. heartbreaking. Uplifting. tragic. Beautiful. How it is possible to live all these conflicting feelings at once? hugs from Germany

    Like

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