Heidi's festival - 'Can we have apricot jam sandwiches?'
Heidi loved apricot jam sandwiches. When she died at the age of eight after a long illness, her parents wanted a funeral where family, friends and beloved family pets could all be involved.
Heidi loved spending time with her brother and sister by the stream at the bottom of her Grandma's garden. When she died, her parents wanted her funeral to be in a place that meant a lot to the family and could give everyone enough space to mourn her death. They decided that Heidi’s goodbye ceremony would be called 'Heidi's festival' and would celebrate everything that she had loved and treasured.
A Saturday afternoon was chosen for Heidi's festival in her Grandma's garden. Heidi's coffin was decorated with crayon drawings and butterfly stickers by her brother and sister and was placed on trestles by the stream. The festival was arranged around her favourite story, which was read aloud by her Grandma as her friends and family sat on picnic blankets.
Everyone wore flowers in their hair, the petals in Heidi's favourite colours. The family's golden retrievers sat amongst the guests wearing flowers weaved into their collars.
Later in the afternoon, Heidi's favourite apricot jam sandwiches were served as part of a picnic.
Heidi was taken to the crematorium the next day with just her close family in attendance to say a simple but meaningful goodbye.