(From Emma Daly 5/28/00)

Dear all.

Sunday morning in Catalunya and we are all waking up with hangovers after Miguel's funeral, which actually, given the appalling circumstances, was pretty great. There must have been 500 people there, and first they put the coffin in the townhall of Vimbodi, where Miguel grew up until he was 15, so that the family and then friends could pay their respects. It was obviously still unbelievable, even though there was this wooden coffin with miguel's name on a brass plate and a couple of bunches of flowers, one saying, Thanks, Miguel.

After that we walked to the church, which was old, simple stone and was completely overflowing.

Nigel Baker of APTN gave the first account, which was great and not at all suit-like, followed by a full funeral Mass in Spanish, and a sermon in English. At the end, David Gutenfelder spoke on all our behalf (for those who don't know him he is a fab AP photographer who was based until last year in Africa and was one of Miguel's greatest friends there).

Miguel was buried in his family's tomb, in a gorgeous spot, a small grave-yard with a view of the mountains nearby. His grave was absolutely covered in flowers and, by the end, a couple of cigarettes as well.

His family were really wonderful, his mother, sisters and brother - two of them really look like Miguel, same nose. They are also all staunch Catholics, and so comforted by the thought that he went straight to heaven. They were also helped by the overwhelming proof of how many people loved Miguel and how many journalists admired and respected his work - more than 80 journalists, mostly foreign, showed up for the day.

Of course it was just devastatingly sad, everyone in floods of tears at various times but that night, the family laid on a huge party in the gardens of a hotel, lots of Spanish food and drink and of course the hacks were the last to leave. It was a good send-off for Miguel.

Hope you are all OK,

love
Emma