Robin and Maurice have been reunited in heaven, says tearful Barry Gibb
London: ‘Bee Gee’ member Barry Gibb paid a touching tribute to his brother Robin’s “magnificent mind and his beautiful heart” at his funeral - saying that he had finally been reunited with his twin brother Maurice. The sole surviving member of the trio spoke out about his regret at arguing with Robin right up to the star’s death.
“Life is too short. In Robin’s case, absolutely too short,” a leading daily has quoted him as telling the congregation.
The 65-year-old spoke of his brother’s “sharp, intuitive wit” before hinting at recent tensions between the two of them.
“God knows how much we argued,” he said.
“Right up to the end we found conflict with each other, which now means nothing. It just means nothing,” he said.
He urged mourners at St Mary’s Church in Thame, Oxfordshire to get rid of the conflicts in their lives.
“If there’s conflict in your lives - get rid of it,” he said.
He said Robin, 62, who died from kidney failure last month after fighting cancer and pneumonia, had finally been reunited with his twin. Barry recalled the decade of separation endured by Robin since Maurice died in 2003.
“When you’re twins, you’re twins for life,” he said.
“You go through every emotion. And they’re finally together. I think the greatest pain for Robin in the past 10 years was losing his twin brother, and I think it did all kinds of things to him,” he said.
Hundreds of mourners wept as Robin’s ornate white coffin entered the church to the sound of the Bee Gees’ hit ‘How Deep Is Your Love’. Barry and the vicar leading the service, the Reverend Alan Garratt, walked up the aisle ahead of it as a round of spontaneous applause broke out from well-wishers standing outside the church.
Close relatives, including Robin’s widow, Dwina, and his mother followed behind. Robin’s young daughter Snow, whose mother is a former housekeeper of his, did not attend the service - but was mentioned by Barry at the end of his eulogy as “little Snow” in a list of close family members.
Barry paid tribute to his brother’s “magnificent mind and his beautiful heart”. Minutes after the funeral cortege had picked its way through the streets of his brother’s adoptive town, he told mourners: “Life is too short; in Robin’s case, absolutely too short.
“We should have had 20 years, 30 years of his magnificent mind and his beautiful heart,” he said.
Referring to Maurice, he said, “They were both beautiful. And now they’re together. They’re actually together.”
The Gibbs’ elderly mother, Barbara, was too distraught to remain in the church as Barry delivered his eulogy.
“This is a very strange experience, having already lost two brothers and now Rob. I think there are an awful lot of things happening right now that maybe you won’t be aware of. And one is how many people came on such a terrible day. It is staggering,” he said.
“So many people loved this boy, so many illustrious people are here that loved him. And that is such a pleasure to witness.
“The three of us have seen a lot of crowds but I’ve never seen so much love in one crowd as I’m looking at today - for Rob, you know, for the music. And it’s an intense experience for me. I think it’s an experience none of us will forget. We will keep him in our hearts and minds forever,” he added.
Hundreds of Bee Gees fans lined the streets to bid the singer a final, tearful farewell. The white, glass-sided carriage bearing his coffin was pulled through the throng by four plumed, black Friesian horses. Each wore a decorative black cloth emblazoned with a gold treble clef in honour of a career steeped in musical folklore.
Ahead of the horses were a lone piper, behind them relatives and friends, and finally, Gibb’s beloved Irish Wolfhounds, Ollie and Missy. It had been the singer’s final wish to “say a final goodbye to fans and his home town of Thame”, and he did so in typically flamboyant style.
Gibb’s widow, Dwina, was at the head of the cortege, together with his mother. Barry’s son, Stevie, and Dwina’s son, Steven Murphy, joined the singer’s sons, RJ and Spencer, as pallbearers. Mourners included Sir Tim Rice, Uri Geller, Peter Andre and the DJ Mike Read. During the service Dwina read a poem ‘My Songbird Has Flown’.
It included the words: “My songbird has flown and my soul sighs - but he will never go away.”
The poem was followed by a recording of Don’t Cry Alone - one of Robin’s last compositions, from his Titanic Requiem, which premiered just weeks before his death. Guests left the church to the sound of the Bee Gees’ song I Started A Joke, which includes the line “I finally died, which started the whole world living”.