Saturday, 5 December 2009

Its hard to say goodbye...............




On November 25th at 3.15pm it was time to say goodbye to Mum and lay her to rest, it was a day I was dreading and yet was needing to be done and had been a very long time coming due to finances etc.............
Thank god for very dear friends and family who got me through this dreadfully painful day...... 
I did not sleep much the night before and whenever I nodded off I seemed to wake with a start and a sicking gut wrenching feeling........ I just gave up and got up eventually and drank endless cups of coffee and kept checking my to do list and my order of service anything to keep busy and not think.....













My friends called to take Basil for a long walk at about 9.30am whilst my OH and I went out to do a few last minute chores and deliver my order of service stationary to the undertakers. I made the order of service myself and although quite unprofessional they were all individually made with love.....
Eventually it was time for us all to get changed and ready and I have to say I was so proud of all the effort my family made... my son looked so smart in his new white shirt and black tie.... no longer the boy but a man...............my daughter and partner arrived in good time and both dressed immaculately. My daughters partner was all suited and booted and looked so handsome! Thank god for my daughters early arrival as I was having a last minute panic with my unruly thick long hair..... my daughter thankfully put her daughterly skills into action and put it into a plait for me......I was ready just in the nick of time as suddenly my husband announced that the hearse was coming down the lane.... I began to shake...... quickly we locked up and went out into the road and there before me was Mum coming home for the very last time.... the lovely funeral director was walking in front of Mums hearse leading her back to me (I had no idea he was going to do that)...... I could feel this huge lump in my throat and god knows how I kept the tears back.
The funeral director introduced himself to me and told me not to worry about a thing, he would do all the worrying... his name was Bernie and I honestly don't know how I would have managed without Bernie during the funeral he was such a gentle, respectful helpful lovely man............
After various instructions etc all the cars following were instructed on how they would be expected to drive and what procedures would be taken on the journey to the crematorium and so we all took our positions... My OH who was driving, myself and my son in the first car, my daughter and partner in the second car and dear friends and neighbours following behind....... and again Bernie walked in front of Mums hearse and led her away... once in the car I just could not hold on any longer and sobbed... 

The hearse was so beautiful clean and shiny, and Mums coffin and flowers looked beautiful... I know that may sound such a strange thing to say, but it has been a very hard time finding funds to cover the costs of this funeral and I have reluctantly had to do things on a very tight budget... and although the coffin was one of the more economical ones it still looked very respectful and the flowers that I ordered myself from an on-line florists (cheaper than the undertakers) looked beautiful..... and I am sure Mum would have been proud. 
I had a mixture of fresh and silk flowers... I have future plans for the silk flowers.......

We were going to the North Chapel for Mums service (sounded so cold) however I was so wrong it was beautiful, warm and bright with a lovely country view, the crematorium is alongside woodland.......... we entered the chapel to our chosen music which was Michael Jacksons Earth Song a huge favourite of Mums.... the service was a humanist service and I chose it for many reasons but I wanted the service to be beautiful as my Mum was a beautiful lady who loved life and nature and I wanted the service to be taken in a specific way.... the humanist that took the service for me was a fantastic gentleman called Bill. Bill came to our home a few days before the service so we could plan how things were to be carried out. It was a Saturday and my OH was at home also so we were able to have a lovely hour together drinking coffee and deciding on various poems and things. I had already written Mums eulogy and it just needed a bit of tweaking... my husband had also written a poem for me about Mum and Bill loved it as much as I did and decided to read it out at the service.

Bill was a brilliant reader and his words were like soothing balm, I could listen to him speak forever............ I managed to keep a hold on my emotions until Bill read out my husbands poem and then I just broke down..... the rest of the service went like clockwork and the song played before the committal was Sleepsong by Secret Garden   ... I just love this song and felt it would be so right to say goodbye to my Mum...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvVi46MEGKw Bill said a few more things and the service ended with music The Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler. Bernie appeared again, bowed in respect to Mums coffin and then waited until we had finished listening to our final piece of music..... by this time I was a complete wreck, I had no idea how hard it was going to be and certainly thought I had no more tears left to cry, but I did and I have since cried more.. its hard dealing with that gut wrenching feeling that I get when I suddenly remember Mum is not with me to join in with something I know she would have loved of which their are many, she was after all part of me and my life for so long. I was talking to my son a couple of days ago and we were discussing Christmas and how none of us felt like celebrating it at all this year, then my son suddenly said... 'Mum its going to be so strange not hearing Nan's giggle over Christmas' and the tears welled up in his eyes, as they did mine..Mum loved the family get together on Christmas day and we always made an effort somehow to all be together, my daughter and her partner always turned up early in the morning for a few hours so we could open up our presents together.....no matter how hard I try I just cannot find the heart for Christmas so we will allow it to come and go with no frills and fuss this year, it will instead be a quiet peaceful time where we will remember Mum and Dad and others that have sadly passed......


After the funeral we went to a friend and neighbours house who had put on a huge spread for us... it was amazing and so kind of her and so appreciated. I did manage to eat a little but even that was hard to swallow.. the hot coffee went down well and somewhere along the way I was given some wine to drink which actually made me very tired, the rest of the day was just a haze of saying and doing the right things.

I thought I would be better the day after the funeral but once alone, both OH and Son had gone back to work, it hit me harder still and I just spent the day frozen unable to settle to anything,chores were impossible, reading, writing, the computer nothing distracted me from my thoughts, I was even unable to shut my eyes and sleep, unable to listen to music, watch the television. I was in a right old state... just sat and wept on and off all day but guess it was needed. When I lost my gorgeous Dad, I was so busy looking after Mum I didn't grieve properly and that came out a lot later and made me ill... so this time I have shed huge amounts of tears, have felt the raw pain of grief and its been hell and still is at times, but this time I have experienced it and that has to be healthier I guess.

I am due to collect Mums ashes soon and I will keep them in a special place alongside Dads ashes until the a decision on what I should or shouldn't do with them is made... cannot deal with that yet.


And now I must move on with life once more and try to find my way... need to find a new path to follow, but its hard to move from where I am at as yet so waiting for inspiration. One thing I am sure of is that I will be so glad to see an end to this year and although I won't celebrate Christmas I am most certainly going to welcome in the New Year with open arms................

And this is now going to be my last post about my Mums demise.... as this is my blog recording my life I needed to blog about my life this year caring for Mum and the emotions that went along with my care for Mum, but now I have lost my Mum I know I have to move on, somehow..... and I guess following my blog has been somewhat depressing to many this year and yet I hope it may have helped others that may be experiencing similar situations.... what I did want to achieve is for people to understand how heartbreaking dementia can be and what an awful disease it is. I myself had no idea what devastation it caused.... I am emotionally wrung out now, as the sadness is hard to bear and the tiredness I feel is incredible...................
So my blog will now be about my slow and steady climb back to normality,and whatever that may entail ....... 
Thank you all for taking the time to read/follow my blog over the past year and your comments and support have been invaluable...... you are all incredible people xxxxxxxxx

16 comments:

Tea with Willow said...

Jane, what a deeply moving account of your Mum's service. The people surrounding you on that day sounded wonderful ... and the funeral director, well, one in a million.

You must not ever worry about what you write in your blog - it's *yours* to record the events of your life. I'm sure reading your words has helped others, who may be in a similar situation and made them feel they are not alone.

I look forward to reading about the new chapter in your life as the New Year comes in and just want to say *thank you* for sharing your story with us.

With love,

Willow xxx

aromatic said...

Thank you so much for you lovely comment Willow.... Thank you for reading my blog and sharing my life with me... hopefully the future will bring happier times!
Much Love, Jane xxx

liZZie said...

I like the way you go about things Jane, a testimony to the loving parents you have been nurtured and cherished by. I guess, as ever, it's 'The Circle of Life' stuff. That reminds me, there's a song by Joni Mitchell along those lines... as well as the Elton John one. Just keep breathing in and out, one footstep at a time eh?

aromatic said...

Thank you so much for your comment LiZZie... I will remember your wise words as I take one day at a time...
And the song by Elton John, The Circle of Life is truly beautiful!!
Much Love, Jane xxx

Leanne said...

jane, I said once before that your Mum will be with you, and in you always. She has just gone ahead, and i am certain she did so with the knowledge of your total love and wonderful care for her.

Now it is time for you to live fully once more, step by step, no matter how small those steps are each day. You deserve to be happy again, and I know that you will be. You will find strength again,I promise.

Leanne x

aromatic said...

Thank you so much Leanne, your words mean so much to me, and I truly long to find happiness again. I am going to take slow footsteps along a new pathway in my life, but for now I need to dwindle for a wee while and catch my breath...
Much Love, Jane xxx

A Heron's View said...

Jane,
The road of grief is a hard one to travel, it is though a road of beauty as we recall our happy memories. Our late loved ones are not too far distant from us, only half a whisper away.

SIMPLE LOVE

A silent single tear
shed at the grave.

A simple act
given unasked.

The smile in a new Mother’s eye

A gentle touch

The sharing of a happy thought

1986

MoominMamma said...

Oh goodness Jane, I read this with tears streaming down my face.

As everyone else has said, don't you ever worry about what you write on your blog! :)

Here's to healing and happiness in the New Year

With love
Kath xx

Thursday said...

Blimey, your words bring it all back. My mother's funeral was on 15 December four years ago and it was so, so hard for us to even contemplate Christmas without her. The service sounds truly fitting for a clearly much-loved, lovely lady and the flowers look beautiful.

MelMel said...

I'm so sorry I've not been about properly, I would have been on here sooner to say how much I'm thinking of you and how I can share many of your thoughts and feelings, its a sad time and a bewildering one also, I remember feeling so desperate that he was going to be gone forever in a physical sense and I'd never talk to him again, now I'm crying for you and me, its the hardest thing to do when you lay them to rest, and in your heart you are praying hard that the peace they deserve is at last theirs......you are such a brave lady, who has done so very much to make your Mum's last hours full of love and warmth....love Melxxxx

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

a moving and personal blog
best wishes to you at this sad time

MoominMamma said...

Hello Jane
I just wanted to stop by and wish you well for the new year, I know this year has been so hard for you and I hope the new year brings you happiness.
Also I wanted to thank you for being so wonderful and commenting on my blog! I will try this year and give you more to read with hopefully some funny stories of what us daft Moomins up here in Scotland get up to - you will have no idea of how much I appreciate the fact that you chose to 'follow' me.
Much love
Kath xx

The Rodeo Princess said...

The care and honor you showed toward your Mum is a wonderful testament to how she raised you and how you live your life. Thank you for sharing, and don't worry about being sad - you just go on and be as sad as you want for a while. We will wait.

Thank you for sharing.

Ruth said...

Sorry I haven't visited for ages - and sorry to hear about your sadness. It's strange, but it really seems to help to write it all down and share it. Love to you xx

Terra said...

This was a very moving post and a tribute to the love and caring between you and your mom, and how your family rallied beside you.
Take care of yourself, dear, so you stay well, since grief takes a toll.
Do nice little things for yourself.
My own dad died Dec. 22 several years ago so I can empathize with you.

MelMel said...

Hello Jane I'm going to email you, I had one of the bookmarks popped to one side for you..

xxxx