SAYING OUR FINAL GOODBYES
Today was the day that Mum’s ashes were interred in the same grave as Dad’s, so my sister, Karen, her daughter, Jolene, my brother, Paul, his daughter, Leanne, and I went to the cemetery attached to St. Margaret’s Church, Stratton St. Margaret, where Mum and Dad used to attend before Dad died almost 20 years ago.
It was a very simple ceremony and after my brother had lowered the box containing Mum’s ashes down into the grave, I read the same poem I had read a few weeks ago at Mum’s funeral, which was rather fitting because Mum would want us to “smile, open our eyes, love and go on”. We were all relieved that Paul’s back had gone into spasm before he lowered the box into the grave - because we had visions of trying to get him up from a bending position - something that made us all laugh!
Karen had brought some real flowers and tied them up with two of Mum’s scarves to lay on the grave, and I think Mum would have liked that - one thing we were all sure of was that she definitely did not like artificial flowers, so that’s something that will never be put on their grave.
We stayed to talk to Ian, the funeral director, who also happens to be our cousin, so we were chatting and laughing about various family jokes - I’m not sure what the people who arrived soon after thought, but again, Mum and Dad would have been happy that we were all laughing together. Paul and Leanne then went home, but Karen, Jolene and I went for coffee - well not just coffee but a big slice of cake too - we felt we deserved it and again, it reminded us of Mum and what lovely cakes she used to bake!
We have all appreciated the professionalism and kindness of Ian, his staff and the man at the cemetery today - and all that remains now is for the stone to be replaced. Interestingly, Mum and Dad are in good company - Dad’s two sisters and brothers-in-law together with two nephews are buried the same area of this cemetery, which is beautifully kept. The collage shows the flowers we left, snowdrops and crocuses in the gardens and the coffee and cake all surrounded by a mauve frame - especially for Mum, as it was her favourite colour.
"Better by far
you should forget and smile
than that you should remember
and be sad."
P.S. We are warm again - the plumber came and told Mr. HCB how to manipulate the three-way valve, which needs replacing, but at least it will keep us going over the weekend. I hate being cold!