I was really inspired last week when a little boy stood up at the funeral of his grandfather and read a poem that he had written in tribute. His words were moving, about what he would miss the most, and he thanked him so personally, straight from the heart. Such a brave thing to do.

And when Paul (Shoobridge) and I were reflecting on it afterwards, the conversation quickly evolved into the gratitude that we, and so many others, have for these precious people in our lives: our grandparents.

I often wonder how much richer my life would have been if I had known my dad’s parents, who sadly died when I was very young. They met when they were in their early 20s, in the Black Gate café in the Welsh border town of Oswestry. He was a quiet and scholarly clergyman, the curate of a nearby church, and she was the gregarious and fun daughter of the Methodist minister. My grandmother was having a mid-morning coffee break with her friend and, as soon as my grandfather walked in, she invited him to join them and that was the start of a lifelong romance! I love these stories!

In my work as a celebrant, I am privileged to hear so many romantic tales of first meetings and never-ending love – and also of the cheekiness, too. I often remind people in funerals that we are there to celebrate the person’s life as a whole, not just to think of the recent past when people might be older and slower with old age, but what they were in their younger days, too. The stories that have been handed down over the years help us to do just that.

The little boy who read at his grandad’s funeral has inspired us at Shoobridge Funeral Services to launch a poetry competition to coincide with National Grandparents’ Day. We would like to invite as many people as possible to pen a poem on the subject: ‘Grandparents’. They can be grandparents we see every day or grandparents who are no longer with us … or even grandparents themselves who can talk about carrying the mantle now themselves. There will be two categories: under 16s and adults.

We will publish poems on our Shoobridge Facebook page as they come in, and announce the winners on National Grandparents’ Day on October 6. Just send your poems with your name and telephone number to info@shoobridgefunerals.co.uk. If you are entering the ‘Under 16s’ category, please provide your age. We can’t wait to read your poems!