Music: Time to say Goodbye
It is a bright and crisp late winter’s day. The sky is cobalt blue and there are no clouds in sight. It is the kind of day that my Grandma loved, which seems very appropriate as it is the day of her funeral.
Despite the chill in the air I feel the glow of inner warmth. Arriving at the church in the funeral procession I see all the faces of everyone who has come to bid my Grandma a fond farewell. My Grandma was loved by more people than I realised. St. George’s church is very large, and it is almost full which means a lot to my Mum.
My Mum, Dad, brother, uncle and I sit in the front pew of the church as my Grandma’s tiny coffin is carried up the aisle and placed in front of the altar. It is a short, quite emotional service with a few hymns and a few words from the vicar. My Mum had written a lovely eulogy and my poor Dad had been psyching himself up to read it in front of everyone, but the vicar just ploughs on and reads it regardless.
Everyone is OK and I don’t think anyone cries, but my eyes do well up when I see just how small her coffin is and as I realise that my Grandma is inside. As we leave the church after the ceremony, I glance across the churchyard and see the first yellow bursts of daffodils praising the pale winter sun.
Regardless of everything, life is still flourishing around us.
During the course of the day, my brother does an excellent job of keeping my spirits up.
In the church he laughs at me when I kneel down and miss the prayer cushion and yelp as my knee whacks the floor. He also produces an absolute classic as we approach the crematorium in the funeral cortege.
The crematorium is at the end of a long, sweeping driveway set in beautifully landscaped grounds. The entrance for the funeral party is covered by a glass tunnel. On sight of this my brother elbows me in the ribs and whispers:
“Is it going to be a drive-thru cremation?”
Oh yes, my brother is quite the comedian.
I can’t help but laugh. My Mum overhears his comment too and has to stifle a giggle as she is sat next to the funeral director.
It might be a day of sadness but it feels right to have as smile, as my Grandma always used to look on the brighter side.
We all get out of the car and made our way inside. The crematorium is a new building, and I am surprised as it is very bright and airy.
The service itself doesn’t last long, and I have to stifle my giggles again as my Mum tells me a story she heard about another cremation. Apparently, when the funeral director at this other ceremony pressed the button to send the coffin on its way, it decided to pop back up again. Up and down, up and down, up and down it went, like a morbid jack in the box.
Fortunately this doesn't happen and everything goes without a hitch.
After the service we head off to the Sea View pub for the wake. My Mum chose this pub as my Grandma once commented that they put on a good spread after she attended someone else’s wake there.
By now it was about 5pm and I still hadn’t received a text message from Craig all day. I know that this is by no means the most important thing, but it did bother me a bit as it would be nice to know that he is thinking about me. Maybe he doesn’t even remember that it is the funeral, although I’m sure he would as I told him the other day? It’s just common courtesy to ask me how I am, isn’t it?
In between last Sunday morning and today we have still been sending each other text messages but they haven’t been as frequent as before the night I stayed over at his house. I’m not sure if I should read too much into this, as I’ve been preoccupied with other things and he has been very busy looking after the business, but I do wonder if he’s losing interest after our night together.
Not that I'm bothered of course. Craig is only a bit of fun.
As the wake is drawing to a close I sneak off into a quiet corner and send him a message.
Hi, how are you? You still working hard? The funeral was really lovely today – well as lovely as a funeral can be I think. Hope everything is OK with you. x
I’m lucky in that I’ve never been to a funeral before, but I think I would class this as one of the better ones, as no one was really upset and we all celebrated my Grandma’s life.
I receive a reply from Craig a few hours later, and if I’m honest his reply leaves me cold.
Glad today went OK. Work was well borin. Just off to the pub x
I read his text message over and over again.
I can’t work out if he is bothered about what is happening to me but just doesn’t know how to express it (which would explain why he didn’t get in touch during the day), or if he has completely forgotten about the funeral and isn’t arsed about me whatsoever.
I know I am reading way too much into the whole me and Craig thing again, as surely I should only expect a sensitive and caring response like that from someone I am seeing a bit more seriously?
No, actually I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s just nice manners to ask, especially as we have been arranging for him to come and see me in Leeds this weekend.
What is it that stops me from just living in the moment even now when I’ve set myself the task of having no strings fun? I’m hoping it’s just because I’m feeling a little more emotional than usual due to my Grandma’s death and not because I feel the need to cling on to every man I bump into.
The rest of the day passes in a blur and before I know it I'm back home.