Mum’s Way

We all had to meet in the Club car park for 3 pm.
We were a little early so went inside and Sis was putting the finishing touches to everything. She asked if I’d seen Mum and I mentioned the stuffed dog keeping watch. Apparently she’d taken a shine to it so it had gone with her to the Home and into hospital.
I had a chance to look at the pile of sympathy cards which Sis had received and recognised a lot of names. It also made me realise that all of Mum’s friends I remember as a child had passed away before her.
My niece, the one who had got married in July, had done a collage of Mum from all the family photographs she could find. It was edged with roses and butterflies.
This is only a third of it, and we are all in there, including Dad, plus babies and dogs from all generations. This cropped part was in the centre and the picture on the right that of Mum’s 90th birthday in 2012 and the cake made for her at the ladies group she attended at the time.

Both of my nieces were handing out single roses or red carnations for final tributes after the service. Mum so loved her flowers, and Dad had always (bar once when he had no spare  money) given her two dozen red carnations on their wedding anniversary.
The weather was kind as six of us got into the limousine behind the hearse.
I noticed several people in their cars as we pulled out of the car park bow their head in respect.

The crematorium has not changed much since Dad’s passing. I used to take Mum there on their wedding anniversary, his birthday, Father’s Day or the anniversary of losing him when we lived locally. Mum and I would sit on the bench by ‘Dad’s tree’ and reminisce about silly things, serious things, and happy memories of a husband and father, a man we both loved and missed terribly.

Services were running late so we were shown into one of the reception areas to wait our turn. I noticed a lady standing by herself who I didn’t recognise, so went over and introduced myself. It was one of the care staff from the Home who I had spoken to several times on the phone, and she had also read my letters to Mum. It was nice to put a face to a voice, and she said that everyone had a soft spot for Mum and were sorry at her passing.

Sis had asked for the larger of the two chapels, thinking it was the same one we had for Dad.  I was introduced to the Vicar performing the service as Sis had contacted me earlier in the week to ask if I’d like to read one of my poems she’d found in an old exercise book that Mum had kept.
As we went in, I could hear Robson and Jerome singing their version of Unchained Melody. I can remember Mum saying she liked it and I’d bought her the cassette many years ago. It made me smile again. Mum had a way of saying ‘I like it!’ in such a way that I always interpreted it as ‘I’d like it please’ and if I could afford it, it was hers.

There was an Order of Service on each seat, with a photo of Mum on the front and the one we all have of Mum and Dad on their Silver Wedding Anniversary in 1975 on the back.
Mum had chosen Abide with Me and The Lord’s my Shepherd as her hymns. They were traditional familiar tunes so I was confident to sing, and I did, strong and clear.
I read my poem in between hymns and after the Eulogy and another short prayer, Gerry and the Pacemakers (and unofficially me) sang You’ll Never Walk Alone as we laid our single flowers in goodbye as we left.
The family tribute was beautiful and full of colour. There were six others, from Mum’s brother, my sister’s two daughters and their families, my Dad’s sister, a cousin who was the daughter of one of Mum’s late brothers, and one which surprised me from OB’s ex wife and her new partner.
I made a point of thanking the Funeral Director, our drivers, the Vicar and neighbours who had come to the service. It was so very Mum, not a lot of fuss, and everyone there was someone who had known her personally.

There was a buffet laid on at the Club and OB thanked everyone for coming. It was a modest attendance, again just as Mum would have wanted it.
We all had a happy memory of her so there were plenty of smiles to share. As for Sis and I?
We were two sisters mourning the loss of our Mum.
Hubby and I had to leave early and I was given a box of things which I haven’t looked into yet. I have Mum’s sewing machine and her mother’s cameo brooch, but the pocket watch I was promised belonging to Dad is absent. Sis said there was no mention of it in The Will, just a watch, so she said she’d put in the one Mum always wore.

❤ ❤  High Five Mum. We did it Your Way  ❤ ❤

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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13 Responses to Mum’s Way

  1. Michael says:

    Great stuff Di, all this is great as part of your grieving process, write all you can, the good bad and ugly, it’ll do you a power of good.

    • Thanks Michael. I’m putting it all on paper, then tweaking it, playing with it, deleting it. You know how it is. Everything’s catching up with me now. But the service was all about Mum, just the way it should be.

  2. MrsCraft says:

    I’m glad it went your mum’s way, sorry for your loss. Take care.

  3. scifihammy says:

    Your Mum had a great send off.

  4. Pingback: Time to relax | pensitivity101

  5. Sounds like a wonderful send off, it’s always good to have old fashioned hymns, the sort you sang at school. I went to a funeral of a friend of mine some years ago, he died comparatively young and was a very popular man and the church was rammed with people. Unfortunately his wife was into what they call happy clappy church, (forgive the description but I don’t know the proper name). So when the hymn started nobody recognised it and we made a fairly dismal effort at singing, so much so that the vicar made us all start again from the top! At least having a bit of a rehearsal we were slightly better second time round. My mother had dementia for some time before she died and I was her carer as she always said “don’t put me in a home,it will kill me.” I did my best and looked after her as long as I could but eventually her condition deteriorated to the point where she was bed bound continuously and had as far as one could tell no idea if you were in the room with her or not. I visited her virtually every day, hard to get out of the habit having done it for so long and I didn’t want her to think I had forgotten her at the end. She lasted four years before she died, so her idea that being in a home would kill her was correct, it just took a lot longer than she meant, I think!

    • The vcar stopped my sister’s wedding service in 1976 as we didn’t’ sing loud enough, so your comment doesn;t surprise me.
      Mum and Dad went to live with my sister in 1995 and Mum stayed after he died in 1996. We asked Mum to come and live with us but she felt needed there. Dementia started to hit about four years ago and Sis had to put Mum in a home in Sept 2017. We visited in December (there are posts in my blog about it) and I knew it would be the last time I saw my Mum. I am thankful for a fleeting few seconds of recognition that day as Mum was poorly and asleep most of my visit. Sis and I are very distant. It’s just the way it is.

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