Friday, 9 May 2008

Love Many, Trust Few, Always Paddle Your Own Canoe

After so many days of rain, the day dawned bright and sunny, which was soothing to me as it was the day of Aunty Alex’s funeral. It felt slightly odd- we sat near the front of the church, first Mum, then Dad, then my sister, then me, then Carl. Although I was very much part of our family party, I also felt slightly apart, in a new little unit with Carl. I found so many parts of the service upsetting. I thought it was barbaric in some ways; Uncle Bernard, having to sit there, composed, while surely all he wanted to do was scream. I hated seeing him so alone, as well. When he walked in, although he was with family, you could see how isolated and desolated he was. When Aunty Alex’s son got up to do the eulogy, he was near to tears for much of the time, and all I could think was that he should not be alone up there.

Without wishing to be maudlin, it has made me think about how I would like things to be when I go. Having said that it was barbaric, it was also very beautiful and peaceful. There is something special about the process of the service, about being able to stand and cry, reminisce, and smile through the tears. A kind of release, at the end. I was rather shocked at the start of the service- I knew of course, that she hated the name Alexandra, and was only ever known as Alex, but what I didn’t know- and neither did much of the rest of the family- was that her name was actually Edith Alexandra. The eulogy ended with one of Aunty Alex’s favourite sayings –love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. Wise words.

We didn’t go to the crematorium afterwards, but instead went into a favourite little coffee shop, and had tea and scones and teacakes- Alex’s favourites- and remembered her together instead.
As we got home, the sky darkened and the heavens opened. Somehow, it felt just right, and it was good to be able to potter about the house to the rhythm of the raindrops.

1 comment:

Edie said...

You write very well.