I’m grieving for my mother, now that we’ve had the funeral, which took a huge amount of time and effort to pull together (which was a good thing because you have no time to sit and think). The photo above was what we put on the back of the Order Of Service. Now there is more time. Endless amounts actually as you consider a future without her. What a strange thing it is to be dealing with grief. The funeral was as good as anything we could have hoped for, but of course we didn’t want to have to be doing it at all. Her six grandchildren did her proud with all their individual tributes and I’d like to think that she could hear every word and loved every minute. I do wish we could all do more of this stuff when the main recipient was alive and kicking so that they could enjoy all the beautiful words, but perhaps that would be too weird. Anyway, since the funeral, my time has felt strange as I readjust to my new world order. However, as Nick Cave says, “if we love, we grieve, that’s the deal, Grief and love are forever intertwined. Grief is the terrible reminder of the depths of our love and, like love, grief is non-negotiable.”
He’s right that there is a vastness to grief that overwhelms our minuscule selves and that we just have to do whatever feels right to get through it. I know my mother would not want any of us to wallow in sadness or stay in bed crying, whilst eating crisps and drinking wine…so I’m up and about and getting through it in other ways. But it sometimes hits you like a wave, when something happens and you go to pick up the phone to tell her about it…it’s very hard to adjust to a world in which your mother is not a major life force, someone you speak to almost every day, someone who gives you unconditional love and has your back. Who has it now?
Well, certainly my friends do. My girlfriends have been unbelievable in the way they’ve stepped up to support me. I guess you don’t really know what to do when a friend has had a significant shock and trauma, but what I do now know is that all you really need to do is be there in any way you can. My friends brought me flowers, sent daily texts and calls, posted handmade cards through the letterbox, left flowers on the doorstep, fed and watered me, helped support me with overwhelming administration and I have ended up feeling as if I’ve been wrapped in cotton wool. All warm and fuzzy and it’s made the world of difference to feel their support. Those who knew my mother came to the funeral (if they could) and then came back to the after (life) party, which we turned into a family booze up, complete with dancing to Pata Pata at 4.30am before we all crashed.
And then all of us doing our family photo, later in the evening:-
All my neighbours were amazing too. Our street WhatsApp group has been a huge bonus since lockdown, but when I apologised in advance for any noise and explained I would be hosting the wake, they all offered not only their heartfelt condolences, but practically every car space in the street for my mother’s elderly friends.
So much work to do! Can’t believe how much admin is involved with probate and rather like having a caesarian and then being expected to look after the baby, it’s completely exhausting and overwhelming.
Anyway, on a brighter note, my youngest, naughtiest child has finished uni and I’m so proud of him:-
And my daughter stayed for the weekend after the funeral and made this “Be Happy” pie, which I loved:-
Family, just as my mother taught me, will get me and all of us through this difficult time.