Funeral – fulfilling mum’s wishes.

I think we managed it.

I think mum would have been delighted by yesterday. Even copies of her book sold out! ‘Really mum you want to sell your book at your funeral, will people actually want to buy it?’ Yes she did and yes they did.

Every single person she asked came and did what she wanted. Which pretty much matched the way things happened when she was alive!

The ceremony in the wood was quick, heartfelt and private. Even the technology playing up (the Bluetooth speaker connecting to the wrong phone) was well within her expectations.

The celebration at the Cut Arts centre really did feel happily  like the cultural event she envisioned with music, poetry and singing. But it also allowed for many heartfelt tributes. Even the ‘warts and all’ one she had asked for whoch acknowledged that her buldozing tactics didnt always endear her to people.

But in general the picture that emerged was consistent. Mum’s unique capacity to use charm, cunning and strategy to bend the world to her will and make wonderful things happen. She was as subtle as a sledgehammer, with a kind of Jedi Mind control that meant when you opened your mouth to say no you found yourself saying yes. But her real gift was that you found yourself being flattered and grateful that she wanted your help. That she allowed you to share in her sense of achievement aand pride, that she lead by example, was fun and mischievous to work with, always ready to help others when she could and always genuinely grateful for what people did. Even to the end.

The auditorium was full, The tributes heartfelt. It was wonderful to feel the affection that people not only felt for her but extended to our family. I felt intense pride in being part of my family: my amazing kids creativity in writing and music, my nieces in art and poetry. I don’know how on earth my Dad got through his beautifully written  tribute that successfully navigated between laughter and tears. Especially how he managed to dekiver the gut wrenching statement that, with Mum’s death, the best of his life was behind him. My sisters speech was clearly and engagingly delivered: not surprisingly as she is an accomplished public speaker: often on the TV, or delivering addresses to large conferences. It was well crafted, humourous,  concrete and detailed: the handmade presents and the painstaking Christmas rituals.

Then afterwards ukuleles, sparkling wine, trays of cake and so many, too many really people I wanted to talk to. People who were important to mum and spanned the breadth and length of her life. People I know she would have wanted there and wanted to thank for all they did for her. Her awesome endlessly helpful and patient gardener, the guy who made so many things around our house and Halesworth, the man who helped her bury our dog and made the garden in our Reydon house so magical.




2 thoughts on “Funeral – fulfilling mum’s wishes.

Add yours

  1. It was truly awesome just as she was .

    I have to admit I was a bit scared of her as a child at times ….I the sensitive type.
    Especially when I walked into an oncoming bicycle as a teenager when walking next to her in Kingston .Not sure if the verbal tirade was not worse than the actual injuries !
    Of course it was a daft thing for me to do putting the cyclist at risk .
    I don’t even have a mobile phone to blame .

    Also the “china cup incident “in Southwold when I broke a beautiful gold leaf china teacup she had just bought (and coveted) from an antique store .I being a “bull ” in the larder .She kind of exploded .
    That upset me more but she did not hold a grudge and it was forgotten after a short time .

    I remember too having a quiet chortle with Kathy in the back of her car at another explosion of rage at a careless car driver one fine morning driving to Southwold ..Expletives my polite parents would rarely let my innocent ears experience .”You F***** Stupid Idiot !!!”
    She seemed larger than life sometimes .

    We would often do simple things made exciting like collecting wood on a frosty morning or painting stones ,looking for amber ….She somehow imbued them with magic .

    I loved her mischievous fun and generosity and regret I did not make the effort to keep experiencing it by visiting her later in life .I guess everyone gets too busy and perhaps thats the lesson to us all make the effort and keep in touch .


    Rainer just came and read Kathy’s blog and my comment and simply said ….”She isn’t dead .”


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