Sunday, 22 November 2015

Visiting Mum in the Chapel of Rest

In the timey whimey way thoughts are coming to me I thought I'd write about the day before Mum's funeral. I'd taken the afternoon off, the weather was horrible, heavy rain. We set off for the funeral director's at about 2.40pm and just about found some where to park. We had to wait for a short time whilst another family left and things were prepared. The Chapel of Rest itself was not what I expected it was respectful enough but not the quietest of atmospheres(essentially just a small side room near their office) it's amazing how little tv and film coverage of death doesn't prepare you for the realities of it. 

We'd been warned that there would be some colourising of Mum's face as it was nearly a month since she'd died. Weirdly this only made her look more alive than the day of her death but the wrinkles and dryness of her hands showed the effects of death, I've probably seen one too many zombie films but honestly she looked so good I expected her to wake up any moment! 

Back to the events of the day, we sat quietly for a few short mins looking at mum then Dad said we should say the Lord's Prayer and say goodbye to her. Dad then had a conversation with the son of the funeral director who was clearly far less organised than his dad and it took  a phone conversation that evening to really get things sorted for the funeral the next day. So there you have it, death not what you expect and nothing prepares you for it.

Written on 22nd November 2015.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Mum's Funeral

Mum's Funeral

I thought I'd write a few words about today whilst it's still fresh in my mind. The cars arrived at our house a few mins early, but we were soon on our way. Light rain greeted us which became heavy briefly during the service.

Once we'd taken our seats and the had vicar said a few opening words we sang a reassuringly traditional hymn, I won't list the full service here but for me the most memorable part was a moving description of Mum's life delivered by Reverend Lorna Dazeley. I was moved almost to tears hearing everything mum had contributed to the area especially the community associated with the church.

The service lasted about forty minutes and afterwards a few of us headed to the local Cremitorium where Lorna kindly said a few words in a very brief service. We'd taken the the scenic route to the Crem to avoid traffic but even then were delayed slightly by some police activity their helicopter was above us and it appeared some asylum seekers may have escaped from a facility nearby.

The city fathers in all their wisdom placed Cambridge Cremitorium next to the busy A14 but thankfully the traffic noise isn't noticeable once on the chapel.

We then headed back for refreshments at the church hall nearby to where the main service had taken place, there was a good turn out including one lady who'd worn a scarf knitted by mum to the service.

Also present was Mum's brother Uncle Ted who we promised to try and visit when we can. There was many a familiar face in the room partly because in the dim and distant past I'd attended the church myself. A few of them greeted us and we had some short chats before the crowd one by one slowly melted away.

We’ll never forget you mum and I'm sure we did you proud today.

Additional memories: As Mum's coffin was taken into the church Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits could be heard spilling out into the road from a nearby house. Also as we headed off to the Crem a passerby a total stranger lowered the hood of his coat in respect despite today's inclement weather.

Written on 19th November 2015