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.