This is my first experience of arranging a funeral and thanks to Dad and his comprehensive list, a wonderful funeral director and priest it has not been as hard as I had expected on a practical level.
Elaine, Mum and myself have broken things down into manageable chunks and each day have achieved something. My brother in law has also helped with some admin too. The funeral is all arranged, with much thought going into clothes, touching mementos, flowers, readings, hymns, songs, ways to stream the service to Tasmania and charities for donations, so that we honour the memory of Dad, his interests, likes and loves. No black, and the charity’s are: heroscharity.org and ticrappeal.com. This encompasses homing of retired racehorses and research for cardiovascular disease, both close to Dad’s heart.
We have had so many cards, flowers, offers of support and help that the kindness shown has been overwhelming.
Everyone says the same thing about Dad’s quiet, unassuming manner-a gentleman. So much respect for who he was and what he did. Dad has been an inspiration and my moral compass throughout my life, and I will emulate the inner and outer contentment Dad had as I retire later this year.
But, it’s very hard too. Hard to comprehend we won’t physically see Dad again, although I do have video footage over many years to look at when the rawness has receded. I hear a creak in the hallway here and momentarily think , oh it’s Dad……… His study is where he spent time and sometimes a casual glance into the room, there is an expectation to see him sitting on the sofa, reading his elite racing journal and for him to look up and smile.
We’ve laughed and cried, looked through photos, people have shared photos with us and everyone is a precious piece of Dad’s life.
We have enjoyed some very touching moments between us, on one occasion Mum brought me to happy tears as she shone brightly like a star in choosing her outfit for the funeral.
I’ve cooked, cleaned, organised as I cope by being busy. I don’t think it has fully hit us yet, but Mum has been remarkable so far in her approach to the funeral preparation, insistent that it will be a celebration of Dad’s life, of which she was a part for 65 years. What an amazing woman!
Elaine has potted on geraniums that Dad started earlier this year, so seeing these flourish will be lovely. We will continue to support each other and family have visited us almost daily, which hopefully will make things easier on the day.
Till next week