Miranda’s funeral was held on 17th June at Clandon Wood.
Clandon Wood is a traditional wildflower meadow and naturally managed burial ground near Guildford. It is a beautiful spot full of life and change.
After we chose Clandon as a location, we took the children and Miranda’s sister and parents there to find a specific place for Miranda to be buried. We walked around the whole 31 acre site together before selecting a spot in the south-east of the meadow among some young birch trees. Today, with the trees young and casting little shade, it is open meadow. Over time, as the meadow matures and the birch trees grow, the Clandon Wood team plan to plant trees for coppicing between the larger birches. Miranda’s grave will become an area of dappled woodland at the edge of the meadow. There may be bluebells. We loved the idea of a living landscape that would change and grow as we visit over the years to come.
We chose a woollen felt coffin. Humphrey, Hester, Heath, Auntie Rose and I decorated the leaf-shaped coffin cover with felt shapes and colours, including peonies, pictures of our family, paper dolls, and pictures of her bright clothes and shoes. It was a very happy occasion for doing something so sad.
On the day of the funeral, Rose and I pulled Miranda’s coffin on a hand cart to the grave. It was a small and private ceremony with just the children and myself, Rose, Ed and their daughter Matilda, and Miranda’s parents Brian and Tessa. The service was conducted at the graveside by Fr Christopher Trundle, our vicar from St. Mark’s, Clerkenwell. It was intensely moving and personal. The children were fully involved. At the end, after committing Miranda’s coffin to the ground, we scattered wild flowers on top of her coffin.
The weather was beautiful and we took the opportunity to have a picnic in the west meadow while Miranda’s grave was filled in. The children ran around and played in the vast open space. We talked about how much Miranda would have loved the service and the environment.
We will return in a little while to place a memorial stone on Miranda’s grave.
The service sheet can be found here.