Sunday 12 March 2017

Grieving - Taking each day as it comes...

It's almost a week since Mum passed on, and whilst the pain is easing, it's still there. There are quite a few matters I will need to sort over the next few days, and some of them could trigger further grief - I'm slowly beginning to work out what some of those triggers may be, and can take action either to prepare for them, or just avoid them.

For the first few days, I turned everything off in the room she spent the last four and a half years of her life. Then I realised I'd turned it into a sad, dark, depressing little room, rather than the one that used to be filled with so much joy and happiness. Everything is back on now, and the feeling of happiness has returned. And, even though Mum is no longer there, I can still feel her presence, and see the things she loved.

Her room won't become an unchanged shrine to Mum, as some of the equipment needed to keep her comfortable, including her hospital style bed, will have to be returned. But, the colourful lights, the TV, and all those sort of items, will remain.

Mum "conducting" AndrĂ© Rieu

Mum's funeral has been arranged, and although she is to be cremated, the service to celebrate her life, will take place in the funeral director's own private chapel. The coffin will then be taken to the crematorium, for an unattended private committal, later. This will avoid the conveyor belt of proceedings at the crematorium, as there will be more time for the service, and to pay last respects, before adjourning to another room in the same building, for refreshments.

For friends and family unable to attend, the chapel provides a webcast, which can be viewed, wherever they are in the world, and still be part of the service.

The chapel where the service will be held

I've organised a single spray of flowers for the coffin, made up of white roses (for Yorkshire, where she was born), thistles (for Scotland, where her Dad was born), along with other white flowers and foliage. The coffin will also be draped in a Royal Stewart tartan Plaid (the Plaid being the piece worn over the shoulder, when wearing formal highland dress), along with a large family bible, upon which will be a further single white rose.

As a mark of respect for Mum's Scottish ancestry, I will be wearing a kilt, a short informal grey tweed kilt jacket and waistcoat (vest to our American friends), white shirt, black necktie, brogues, hose and flashes, and, of course, a day wear black leather sporran.

There will be two or three pieces of music, all of which I will be recordings made by André Rieu and his orchestra, as Mum very much enjoyed watching his concerts on DVD. (See pic of Mum "conducting" above). The tracks, though not yet finalised, are likely to be "Nearer My God to Thee" at the start, "Time to Say Goodbye" (possibly whilst images relating to Mum's life appear on the plasma screen), and "Adieu, Little Captain of my Heart" at the end. The first two are somewhat sombre, but the final track is much more uplifting, and jolly - just as Mum would have liked it.

This week involves somewhat more official tasks, which I will undertake as and when I feel able. I also hope to post more on this blog as time allows, in the hope that some of this helps others too.

Until next time, Ciao! for now.

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