This war is noise.


The Final Day.
March 7, 2014, 10:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

KINGFISHER – DAY 7.

Woke up early, with a lot of thoughts going around in my head. Mum and brother helped do the last of the organising for the tea after the service. I finally sorted what I was wearing, I remembered the neutral coloured top I have with falling leaves at the bottom, that Nanny liked on me. I didn’t manage to find a black cardigan or coat so I was going to be cold x] but thankfully after a little patch of rain the sun stayed the whole day, so I was going to have that for a little warmth at least.

We arrived at Granda’s house about 1:10pm, the house had all the close family in there, ready for 1.45pm when the minister would be coming to do a little service in the house before the undertakers came in at 2pm. They arrived at half past but waited, the minister’s service was nice enough, though it was the less preferred minister unfortunately, stumbles a bit and is awkward. Watching the seven of them standing in a circle with my Granda sitting in it, crying at different points, was strange. I don’t think I’ve seen everyone upset like that before. When talking about how proud my grandparents were and are of everyone, it almost made me upset. The religious stuff doesn’t majorly affect me, but personal stuff to do with my grandparents and how they feel definitely does.

At 2pm everything in the house finished, everyone that wanted to go in to see her before the coffin was finally closed said their final goodbye, I already had the night before so I stayed in the living room, getting Granda’s stick for him so he’d have it for going out after the coffin. The undertakers came in, and we all filed out, staying close to the door when outside. I was on the side the flowers were placed on, they were beautiful and definitely better than all white, which would have been the alternative to the coloured. My brother was already out into the car, as after the first lift, Granda would need to get in to follow behind, not being able to walk too far on the flat, nevermind up a hill, which there is. My uncles and one of their brother’s in law were set to do the first lift. They wheeled the coffin out, setting it on the still legs [the proper names escape me] then they got into position and lifted her up. Granda, mum and another were first behind, then we filed in behind them, I stayed close knowing I’d probably be the one bringing him back to the car and getting in with him. When the lift change happened, I did take him back towards the car, a lot of people stopping us on the way to offer their condolences, mainly local people and neighbours I recognised. Granda did start getting a bit upset in the car as we followed along to the end of the road before the crowd broke off to get into their cars to follow us behind the hearse.

The drive there seemed so long, with the weight of the situation, Granda trying to compose himself and the minor conversation about the weather, or about getting to the church. Even though its about 5-10 minutes maximum, I suppose with the slower speed of the hearse until we got outside the village, it added to that. When we got there, we parked just in from the gate on the church grounds, getting as close as we could for Granda to walk into the church. We were met by the 2 ministers taking the service, as my grandparents attended two different churches, both the same kind, just one was closer than the other, when they were becoming unwell. As we walked into the church, it was already fairly packed, and we walked up to the front. We sat on the right side, in the second row behind Granda, mum, my aunt and her husband and my great aunt [Nanny’s sister] which I was directly behind on the inside.

The service was nice, not too long, as no one got up to do a speech to represent the family or anything, I think if anyone was to, it would have just resulted in a breakdown. The hymns my great aunt chose were nice, but it soon highlighted the length of time it has been since I have attended any sort of church service, as they werent immediately familiar like they once were. I liked the picture they chose for the order of service, it was one that was tucked into a painting in the hallway, that was out all the time and familiar if you were in their house much at all. Also was of a time which I was around and remember, wearing things that I remember. She was also very much well in that picture.

I have not put out of my mind how she was recently though. How she’d been since Christmas, in her dressing gown alot, coughing alot, not eating right. And even then still being herself, no trouble to anyone, laughing and joking all the same. The last image I have was the saturday night, walking us out to the door, locking it and waiting behind the glass for my brother to beep the car to wave, before pulling the curtain over the door. I think I’ll always regret not seeing her again before monday. Or not going earlier on the monday shopping so we’d have seen her before she died. But I wrestle with that in my head because if we had been there during the time, would she have then had the heart attack awake? Would we have seen it? Would we have been able to do anything? Would it have been even more distressing and terrible? As in her sleep she went peacefully. We can never know.

When the service was over, and they came to take her out to the graveyard, I definitely felt a change in myself. It was all going to be very real when she went from being just still there in the coffin, to then in the ground. The finality of it so apparent and undeniable. We all walked slowly down the aisle, I didnt take too much time to look at people, as I wouldnt know what face to make, and if I’d seen someone upset, maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hold my composure. I was aware the church was full though, despite not really taking in who exactly was in there til we got near the door and I noticed my Granda’s brother and briefly spoke to him.

We then slowly walked out to the graveyard, we had a fair bit to walk as the actual grave site was directly the opposite diagonally from where we were when starting into the graveyard. I ended up a little further back than I’d have ideally wanted, but my cousin who is unwell was in front of me and it would have been fairly inappropriate and rude to push past because he was making our part of the line slower to get to there. I managed to get a space in the very bumpy and fairly uneven graveyard where I could see mostly everything. The minister then did another part of the service, and when talking about my Nanny specifically, for some reason I looked up into the sky, which had been entirely clear up until then, and all of a sudden there was birds. Even though I don’t believe in God or anything, whatever powers there may be or not, I was certainly lifted a little, and felt like in some way, that was for her.

When the coffin was fully put into the grave and the minister had finished, we stayed close by to Granda and waited til he had seen everybody that came to speak to him in the graveyard before going. With the size of the funeral this took quite some time, and we had a fair amount of time to talk amongst ourselves and be introduced to far out family members and friends. My second eldest uncle stood with him to meet with everyone and we took cards and things from people who hadn’t managed to get them to us before, or were giving us the donations in lieu of flowers to the chosen charity my family picked. Heart, Chest and Stroke obviously being very appropriate, and a truly worthy cause.

When everyone apart from the close family staying for Granda was gone, he took us all around the graves of other family members that were buried there, which I’d had no idea of at all before. I suppose we’d never really had need to talk on the topic of the dead before, as apart from my dad, this was the first close important family member to me that had died. I had known of the others on my Nanny’s side buried at the other church they’d attended as I visited it often as a child when going there with my great aunt, staying there as often as I could as a kid any time there were holidays.

We didn’t stay too long, as we had the tea to go to after in the church hall. It had been set up really nice and was fairly busy when we finally got there. I didnt intend on eating anything while there as with my eating disorder issues, the stress of the day was enough without adding to it attempting to eat in front of a ton of people I usually otherwise wouldn’t ever see or in some cases barely knew. Halfway through the minister announced my eldest uncle would be making a speech on behalf of the family, which was very nice, fairly sure everyone was on the verge of tears, he was pretty much the only one capable of that kind of speech without cracking. Granda had been having some trouble with his hearing aid so didn’t fully take in what was happening, which might have been best to not heighten things for him all over again while hes talking to so many different people.

When the tea was over, we took Granda up to the house, where some of the close family were also heading back to, as well as all of the canadian uncles, one of which will be staying at the house with him, taking in turns between the 3 of them to stay a few days. Since me and my brother hadnt eaten yet, we soon went to the house to let the dog out and get something for us both to eat. It was also good to get the headspace from the situation as I think sitting around my family, the conversation would get fairly intense.

Im glad the day went exactly how my Granda wanted it to. And Im sure how my Nanny would have wanted it too.

I miss her so much already.

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