Tag Archives: Funeral

Recollections From A Year Ago

Wow, has it really been a year to the day since I attended only the second funeral of my life, the second funeral inside two months.  It was the occasion of the funeral of my Nan, my other Nan having died just two months before.

In very different ways both losses hit me hard, maybe more so the loss of my first Nan, she was my Mum’s Mum and had pretty much brought me up as much as my parents.  I went to her house every day for dinner, I didn’t like school dinners, I was a very fussy eater (still am, but more on that at a later date), as both my parents worked I also went there after school everyday and with the rest of my cousins and sister we spent every school holiday there too.  She did so much for me when I was young, I know I took her loss pretty badly and held a lot of remorse that I hadn’t seen her in a number of years, due to my alcoholism.

That’s not to say I didn’t feel the loss of my Dad’s Mum, our relationship may have been different and as she didn’t live locally, I didn’t see her quite as much, it still hit me hard, but in a different way.

With the first funeral, I was a mess until the funeral was over, I don’t suppose I’ve had to deal with death as an adult, when my last Grandparent died I was only eight, I didn’t go to the funeral, so on this occasion, my first funeral, I really didn’t hold it together very well, but spending time with family and my cousins afterwards, remembering all the scrapes we got into and the merry dance we led my Nan, we chose to remember the good times and thank her for what she did for us, it certainly lifted my spirits.

The second funeral was very different, I felt okay until I got home, then I fell into a low.  But when I look back now, I remember two things happening that day, one year ago, that really stick in my mind, positive things to come out of the sadness.

The first I mentioned a month or two ago, I had carried a keyring on my keys for some time, my kids brought me it a few years ago, it was Barney Gumble from the Simpsons, an image of him looking drunk and with a beer in his hand.  When I came home from the funeral, came through my gate and turned to lock the gate with my keys, this keyring fell off, it was unrepairable, the link had broken completely, it hadn’t looked damaged before, it just seemed to take this moment in time to break and come off.  I felt straight away it was sign that I was past my addiction, it was no longer in control of me and I was free from it, forever.

The second happened to me at the wake.  As I tend to do, I tend to stand alone to do things, I am a bit of a loner, I’m not sure I fit in everywhere or that I try to some times, so at the funeral I stood alone, away from all my family and grieved in my own way, that’s just me, the way I do things.  Apart from my immediate family I really didn’t know many of the other people, there was one group with a guy I vaguely knew, I knew him as Steven, a friend of my Nan’s from her Church in Blidworth, which incidently is the supposed burial place of Will Scarlet.  With Steven was a man I didn’t know, I understood later that he was one of my Dad’s cousins, at the end of the wake he came to say goodbye to my Dad and then came up to me.

He said I felt I had to come and say something to you, he then just put his hand on my shoulder, then he just paused, as if some thing had happened, then all he said was “You’ll Be Okay!” and left.

It was something that bothered me a little, but I understood he also went to Church with Steven and my Nan, I thought he had maybe seen me stood alone for most of the day and felt he had to say something, but why that all changed when he put his hand on me, that I’m not sure, but I believe what he felt or maybe I should say what I hope he felt was the Holy Spirit upon me, that’s why all he could say was “You’ll be okay”, he didn’t need to say anything else.

As I said I was a little lost the next day after that second funeral, but the next day I remember going to my Connect Group, feeling very out of it and not really wanting to be with anyone, but I went anyway.  I remember sitting there quietly at first, but by the end of the night, I felt myself again, the one thing that my Connect Group nearly always do for me, they lift me when I’m down and if they can’t do that, they stand with me in prayer.

So tonight it off to Connect Group once again, I don’t need lifting at all today, every thing feels good, maybe it’s my turn to lift someone else.

What makes you happy
What makes you smile
And when you smile please
Is it for real

I know you’re not one
One to pretend
Even when I was a child

You grow up too fast
And have to be brave
Braver than most strong men
That I’ve ever seen

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I wanna hear your voice
It’s lovely sound

Little girl
You can come out now
The danger’s all gone
You can come out

All that you’ve held
Was too much to hold
So let it all go now
And you will become gold

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I wanna hear your voice
It’s lovely sound

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
Dance freely singing
You’re beautiful now

Laughter and tears
Gracing your face
The music of your strength
Held up this place

Your daddy’s right here now
You can let go
He’s holding it all now
And healing your soul

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
I wanna hear your voice
It’s lovely sound

Sing your song mama
Sing it out loud
Dance freely singing
You’re beautiful know

There’s something
I’m trying to tell you and
I’ve tried to tell you before and
Each time that I profess it
It just leaves me wanting more and

I think you are beautiful
And I’m proud of you
What I’m trying to say is
I love you
I love you

May Angels Lead You In

I don’t really have a lot to say tonight, it seems to have been a long hard day, waking in the middle of the night again didn’t help, even after an early night, at half past one I was running with a poem in my head, I put it on here, then still not able to switch off added to a poem I started with a few weeks ago, then I had just two verses, I added a few more then finally finished it this morning.

My Nanna’s funeral went really well, I thought I was doing okay to hold it all together, but then whilst waiting at my Aunt’s house, it hit me when the coffin arrived, from that point I was fighting the tears all the way, they finally flowed at the Church and then at the cemetery.

I’m so tired now, when I got home I slept for over two hours, only to wake feeling so drained and numb, it was hard to even walk or move about.  That’s unsteadyness lifted now, but I still feel so worn and tired.

My Nanna was a woman of strong faith, it was said in the funeral service that she had commented that she knew where she was going.  Last night my mind was full of this song, in light of my Nanna’s faith, I’m sure the angels led her in.

And if you were with me tonight
I’d sing to you just one more time
A song for a heart so big
God wouldn’t let it live
May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads
The sleepless go
May angels lead you in
May angels lead you in
(Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World)

Saying My Goodbyes

I’ve never been to a funeral before, the last close family member I remember dying was my Grandad, on my Dad’s dad, but I was only about 8 years old, so I never went to his funeral, but I was young and didn’t really understand, although I loved my Grandad, as he lived some distance away I wasn’t as close to him as I was my Nanna, during my childhood, I spent so much time with her, after school, school holidays, weekends, she looked after us whilst my parents worked hard to give us everything they could, but my Nanna wouldn’t have it any other way, she spoilt my more than any other of her six Grandchildren, I think secretly I was her favourite and probably the most like her.

My Nanna was very independent, she did things her own way, I’m a bit like that too, I don’t really conform to what the family does as a collective, I had to deal with this my way, it was my pain that I needed to handle and the others would handle their own in their way.

I walked to the Church, which is about half an hour’s walk from my house.  I met my cousin as I walked, they live on the same street, they offer me a lift, but I needed my space, my sister stopped on the way to offer a lift, again I refused, as soon as I could get of the main road, I did, that way I wouldn’t have to refuse anymore!

The Church was very typical of the small Parish Church you find in the UK, made of stone, stained glass windows and very cold, not mod cons, not the like the Church I find myself in every Sunday.

The Vicar was good, once again not really what I’ve been used to, but he did his home work very well, I learnt everything he could about my Nanna and he covered everything, he didn’t leave anything out, he summed her up in her entirety.

What I didn’t know was that she was born and Christened on the same day, she wasn’t expected to live beyond the day of her birth, but despite being the youngest of ten, she outlived them all and by a number of years at that!

I dealt with service in the cemetery alone, I didn’t join in with the families grief, I stood and cried alone, that was my way, that was the way I wanted to deal with it, to say goodbye, the way I wanted to.  When all the family and friends had moved away from the grave, I stood at the grave alone, saying goodbye in my own way, alone.

The time to spend with my family came at the wake afterwards, there I shared my tears with them and stories of our past, notably with my cousin Darren, together we drove my Nanna mad, we would take everything apart and never get it back together, including her Radio.

It was a great way to say goodbye and just like my Nanna, I did it my way, I found the peace I needed in saying goodbye the way I wanted too and not the way others may have expected.

The good thing is each morning when I walk to work, I actually walk through the cemetery, her grave is not far off the pathway I take, so this morning I stopped by just for a moment, I hope to visit almost everyday, no excuses anymore, she’ll only be minutes away from where my footsteps tread.

Incidentally, my Mum’s cousin nicknamed my Nanna, “Hot Rod”, because she walked so fast, even for a woman in her seventies/eighties she would outpace most people, it’s easy to see where I get it from!

I have closure now, I feel I am peace and have been forgiven by all for my failures of the last few years, life moves on, I move on, I am this new creation, rebuilt from the brokenness of my former self.

I forgot who I was on Sunday, I lost myself within my own head and the insecurities of my former self came to the fore, after realising this I wrote the following statement on Twitter Sunday night.

“Your insecurities will remain just that if you keep them IN & SECURE, have the faith in God to let them out, deal with them & say #iThankyou

I not a big fan of hymns, they’re a bit old hat for me, at ECC we sing more modern upbeat worship music, so I struggled with singing along to them during the service, but one of the hymns sung was Morning Has Broken, so in tribute I share the Third Day version.

Morning has broken
Like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the World
(Morning Has Broken by Third Day)