I said in my ‘Today Is………. ‘ post earlier that I hadn’t slept very well. In fact, when I did finally get to sleep, it was to dream of park benches, concrete and the memory of my Mum. I woke up with tears threatening.
When we lose a loved one, it is perhaps a release for them, but for those left behind, a hard path to tread. Unlike my Dad, I could not be with Mum when she passed away, neither was I there when her ashes were scattered, but the lack of a physical presence doesn’t mean I wasn’t there in spirit.
In my dream, I was shown to a freshly concreted base where a bench was going to be placed in my Mum’s memory. I knelt and cried, the pain of losing her as acute as if it were only yesterday.
Thinking about it, this could have been triggered by Friday’s funeral, and one of the daughter’s saying ‘Hello Mum’ when the hearse drew up outside the house.
For my Mum’s funeral, I said my final goodbyes to her as she lay in the funeral parlour’s Chapel of Rest that morning. I put a few things alongside her and was assured they would not be removed. We had travelled down the day before and were staying with MOH for a couple of days to break the journey. Things didn’t actually work out like that, but I won’t go into that here.
It’s not unusual to see park benches in memory of loved ones. There are several in the park here and I wrote a poem about the one below.
Boating friends passed away within months of each other a year or so ago, and the family took their ashes up river and scattered them from their boat before it was sold. A bench was to have been erected in the car park on the marina in their memory, but so much has happened since we left, we don’t know if that actually came about.
Mum never visited us here, so a bench would not be appropriate, even if we could afford one. In the Garden of Remembrance at Bournemouth Crematorium there is a tree with a bench close by where Mum and I used to sit when I took her up on Dad’s birthday, Father’s Day, their wedding anniversary, or the anniversary of his passing. We’d sit and chat about him, or just sit quietly with our own thoughts. I know it brought Mum peace when she visited. My sister never took her there, but I believe my niece did as she was very close to her grandfather.
I’d like to think Mum’s ashes were scattered beneath the same tree and their two spirits are sitting on that very same bench, together forever in a different world where no-one can hurt them, free from pain and worry.
Thoughts of Mum are triggered every time I see the haybale rolls in the fields as she watched ‘the doughnut machine’, rabbits and daffodils on the roadside, and lots of other little things that won’t register with other people. For my Dad it’s hedgerows and anything suitable for making wine, DIY efforts, his way with animals and the countless games of cribbage we’d play after the evening meal and homework was done, driving Mum nuts as she was trying to count stitches on her knitting whilst we were fifteen two-ing and fifteen four-ing, with two for a pair.
I embrace them all, bringing me closer to the parents I loved and miss so terribly sometimes, I feel the tears welling and hear the catch in my voice. I was truly blessed to have been their daughter.