Editors Note. This post appeared on an internet forum. It was made by Ian Barrett, Syd’s nephew on 19 July 2006. There is no doubt that this is genuine.
Roger is finally at rest……..
First – I would just like to thank anyone that has posted messages of condolence for Roger. I have read very single one – and they have been of real comfort.
It all went as it should on Monday.
We all met up at the crematorium and it really was as simple and quiet as you can imagine. There were only 16 of us My Sister in law played the music on the chapel organ which was nice. Some nice classical pieces.
I was hoping we’d get one of Rogers songs but I think it could have been a bit too raw for some of the family.
There was a Humanist officiant who was very affable and welcoming. There was no need to bring God in when he had never made his presence felt before.
He led a few simple tributes with a cousin reading a tribute written by Rosemary, and my eldest Uncle reading from a book that was a Favourite of Rogers. – ‘The Little Grey Men’ by BB I’ve never heard of it but apparently we were all read it as children
It does sound delightful and certainly the sort of thing Roger would love. It was strangely nice to hear the fantasy world brought to life by Alan – who was always the most sensible and rational person you could imagine. He’s much like my Dad, and not prone to wild flights of fancy!
After more music and contemplation Roger was laid to rest, and we made our way back out into the burning sun. It was only a very small chapel, and we barely half filled it. I think this is how it should be. Peaceful and intimate.
Apparently a photographer was spotted lurking in the bushes but few noticed this and it certainly didn’t seem to upset the event.
There was a short piece on the funeral in the Cambridge Evening News with facts that only someone who was there would know, but no pictures so that is good. I imagine they were holding out for some band members to appear which is the only way they would make any money.
We all made out way to a Cambridge hotel we often meet at, for a lunch and drinks.
All in all it was a dignified way to see Roger off and I for one felt better for seeing how well everyone seemed to be coping with his loss.
It was a strange contrast to the energy and flowery prose thrown around in the press in the last week.
While it is moving and fitting that the music press has gone overboard with praise – it seems a world away from the reality of the event the few of us were part of.
It seems like they were for different people – which in many senses – it was.
At the lunch Rosemary brought out a box of cards and letters she had received. This was nice as you could see in what regard Roger has been held. They were mainly from family and friends but there was one nice one from Tom Stoppard. He has a new play on in London. Roger appears as a character throughout it – and there are also several of his songs in it. The play opens with ‘Golden Hair’
One thing that struck me upon meeting up with Rogers closest family en masse – was how much sense it made that he decided to withdraw from the madness of the music business. As a family – we aren’t the most gregarious creatures on Earth!
Yes he had mental frailties and problems, but it is simply not true to say that he was either ‘mad’, a recluse, or incapable of functioning as a human being.
If I hear the word recluse bandied about once more I’ll scream! He took the decision to withdraw from the music business. Full stop.
He continued to shy away from socialising, but to be frank, I don’t enjoy formal socialising at all myself. Does that make me a recluse??
Rosemary has given an interview which is very revealing to both myself, and anyone who didn’t know Roger. She has never spoken to me about Roger, but now he has gone I guess we can all step back and assess his life with more honesty.
PS – She has had a call from Dave Gilmour last week and he pretty much confirmed there would be a concert for Rog. That should be a big, fun event!