Friday, October 14, 2016

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who posted such kind comments in response to my last post. I would have liked to respond to each individual comment, but I'm not firing on all cylinders at the moment.

The cremation took place this morning and went as well as I could have hoped. Everybody seemed to think that my mother would have been pleased with it. We read one of her poems, I read a tribute and during the time of quiet reflection, we listened to Abide With Me. There was also a second poem by a Mr Anon, which was so apposite I wondered if anyone would guess the author's identity.

At the end, I handed out roses to each person and they placed them by the coffin. Afterwards, someone came up to me and asked me where I'd managed to find such beautiful flowers. I didn't tell them that I'd spent £6 in Tesco the previous day.

The next post I write will be to give the name and web address of my new blog.

I will finish with a picture of my mother behind the till at Woolworths in Teddington, for Chris, who wondered if he'd seen her there. She worked there every weekday morning until 1990. My father thought that she should do something better, but the hours fittted around the school holidays and she wasn't too proud to work there.


Next week, I will begin the long, slow process of dismantling a life, forensically going through every item in her flat: the reading glasses, tablets, walking stick, Werther's Originals, romance novels, Damart catalogues, old birthday cards from her family, certificates, framed cross stitch pictures, biscuits and unopened sets of notelets. 

It will feel wrong, as if she is going to come back and ask me what I have done.

10 comments:

Peter Sipe said...

I checked this blog because I miss it and was very saddened to learn the news. My condolences. -PBS

Kid said...

I had to look twice at your first photo, as I thought it was myself. My hair was fairer at that age, but there's something about your expression that made me do a 'double-take'. Even your mum looks a bit like mine when she wore her glasses. All the peace in the world to you at this sad time.

Little Nell said...

When the last catalogue is binned, and the useful stuff redistributed, you will probably find yourself with very few ’things' to remember your Mum by. What you will have are the stories about her in your blog, and I hope there will be more in your new blog.

It will be useful if you don't tackle the clearance job alone; when my Dad died we found it good to have someone else to be the voice of reason, when one of us wanted to hold on to something useless. Then there will be the photographs............

MikeP said...

My condolences. My mother told me the news - 'I'll miss her, she was a nice woman,' is what she said, which is high praise from her these days!

I look forward to whatever comes next from you. in the mean time, keep posting those Instagram photos...

Angela Lambert said...

You are where I was in February.My advice (for what it's worth).
1. Be patient with yourself,don't expect to progress in any "text book" way.
2.Give yourself lots of little treats - decent coffee, a shiny new paperback etc,its good to be kind to yourself.
3. You don't HAVE to do everything now.Box some stuff,bung it in the loft and tackle it when you are ready.
E mail me if you fancy.Maybe YOU can give ME some advice - eventually we will both have to deal with sodding Christmas.

Steerforth said...

Thanks to you all for your comments, which are always much appreciated.

Unknown said...

I feel certain that I must have met your mother at least once. I like to think so anyway. My mum worked at The Hogarth and then at Boots, and so I'm certain one way or another their paths would have crossed. Like everyone else on here, your new blog is anticipated greatly. Very best wishes, Chris

Helen said...

Please accept my condolences. I wish you much health and grace during this time. All the way from America, sending you good wishes and thoughts of blooming roses! Keep writing, I love your blog.

Sincerely,
Helen

Kath said...

I am so sorry to read about the loss of your mother. I've always loved the way you've written about her - always reminding us of how extraordinary our ordinariness really is. The weeks ahead will be hard for you I'm sure but I also assure you this, there will come a day when the pain becomes a dull ache and then the day when you think or speak or write about her that you'll feel a warm smile (or smirk) wash over you. For now, my sincere condolences to you.

Kathy

Dale said...

I popped in after a long absence, wanting to re-read something civilised and reassuring after the US election debacle, only to discover you have been enduring the sorrow of losing your mother.
John and I send condolences for your loss, and a hug for your sadness. Others have said it all in these comments, so we will just send our best wishes for a normal and happy life for you and your family. It's not until something ripples across our ponds and leaves us unsettled that we realise what a great achievement "normal" is.

Dale in New Zealand