Funeral Daze

This time last year my house was crazy mad with people coming and going. Everyone wanted to express their shock at what had happened to Col. In a daze people came and went into and from my little bubble of trauma. People do feel they have to come when someone close to them dies but when they do they don’t have a baldy clue what to do or say to his widow. So in your new widow status you sit there and almost comfort them by saying that you’re ok, that you’re devastated but you’ll keep going and then you ask them the weirdest of questions. None of which I can remember asking or indeed the answers given. But things like: “Did he have a nickname for you?”, “Do you remember the time that he did this or that?”, “Can you help me by buying him a new tie for him to wear in the coffin?” and “Can you tell everyone who ever knew him that he has gone because I want the world to know what they are missing?”.
The best of family and friends kept my life going in these early days this time last year. I was still breastfeeding Isla so the option of Valium wasn’t offered but I did take the milk-friendly sleeping tablets to get a few hours respite here and there from this new unreality I was living in. Decisions had to be made though. So when I wasn’t howling under my duvet or sleeping a drug induced sleep, funeral directors had to be appointed, coffins had to be chosen, venues confirmed, music thought of and ministers spoken to. Thank God for all of those involved because I just didn’t really care one jot about the little details. I just wanted Col back and not to be having to think about organising a funeral for him. However, I did want him to be proud. I wanted the people who valued and loved Col to see just what an amazing man he had been and come away from his memorial service touched by the life he had lived.
Colin’s mum was fabulously supportive and didn’t need to be asked she simply stepped in to cover the costs while I was still wondering if I still had access to our joint accounts. His work was astounding, particularly his boss Fiona who made it possible for us to have a memorial service at Temple Church in London. His close friends took on so many little jobs that made it all happen and the end result was a day that I have been told over and over again was a fitting tribute to the man it was all for. I hope so because it almost broke all of us who loved him to pull ourselves together to make it so.

Temple Church
Temple Church

10 Replies to “Funeral Daze”

  1. Sadly our circumstances are very similar. I lost my partner of 14 years last June when our son was 5 weeks old and I too had to keep going for him and for breast feeding as well. I think the night of the funeral was one of the nights when I missed Victor the most because I so desperately wanted to gossip about the days events with him! I often think now how will I manage, then I remember I managed to walk behind his coffin pushing our son in his pram and think, yep if I can do that, I can do anything.

  2. I am so touched by reading your account of your darling husband’s funeral…I lost my husband ….best friend and soulmate on 13 March..snatched from me …..I find your blog comforting as it makes me realise I am grieving as normal as I can be…take care….you are in my prayers and your little girls..I have a nicece called Isla too….. Xxxx

  3. Planning a funeral was the last thing I wanted to do the day my father died. But actually it turned out to be the start of my healing. Can’t say same for divorce healing tho

  4. When my Neil died in December (almost 3mo already, wow) the last thing I wanted to do was put a memorial together. I am glad I did though…so many ppl came and we held it in a pub and had it catered with some of his favourite foods, played his music and had loads of pictures up of our life together. I had so many ppl tell me that the gathering was so him…informal, pints flowing and memories told. I still find it hard to get through the day sometimes but when I think back on that day, it does make me smile to know that so many came to remember him and support me. Your blog is great…thanks for it.

  5. I remember the total absurdity of providing an outfit for my husband to wear in his coffin. He had “gone commando” in his last few months at the hospice due to being catheterised and I had – I then realised prematurely – disposed of all boxer shorts! Maybe my way of dealing with the awful reality of his physical decline. I then had to purchase Calvin Kleins at Bethnal Green market rather than face what the funeral directors might think if he made his final journey in this life without pants.

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