Countdown

Two days until family and friends say an official adieu to my mum at the matriarch’s funeral service. A day when we’ll give thanks to, and for, the wonderful force of nature who touched our lives with unconditional love, warmth, hilarity and generosity of spirit.

Wednesday one of celebration for a lady who spent eighty one summers ensuring her input was that of a positivity. Kind, decent behaviour afforded to everyone she met, irrespective of how mean spirited or toxic their nature in return.

Speaking to my siblings, it appears we are all prepared for Wednesday’s service, cremation and wake. My sister Helen, brother Ian and me intent on investing our efforts to ensure our beloved mother receives the rightful send off her existential odyssey warrants.

The i’s are dotted and t’s crossed on Helen’s eulogy (which’ll incorporate a few words from yours truly) and Ian’s written a deeply moving poem which I’ll deliver on his behalf. If I’d have chosen to utilise any of the millions of words I’ve penned in the last few years, none would usurp both my siblings wonderful sentiments for Maggie Ann.

I’m told, although predominantly fonder of scribing light hearted whimsy, I’m capable of bestowing my reader with emotive and insightful prose when recanting life’s starker episodes. Reading Ian and Helen’s literary efforts in tribute to Maggie, it’s clear all three of her offspring have been blessed with a similar creative wherewithal.

The last three weeks since mum passed in a West Yorkshire care home have been a bit of a blur. To be honest, I don’t think the scale of our loss has properly hit me at this juncture of the grieving process. Being kept busy in the immediate days/weeks before the funeral providing a welcome distraction. However, I suspect in the not too distant future that melancholic episode will strike me like a wrecking ball.

If I’ve learned anything since my dad passed four years ago it’s that there’s alway triggers to evoking sadness at a parental loss. Melancholy can manifest from even the most arbitrary of items. For instance, every time I use the chipping knife my dad used to peel potatoes my heart aches briefly…. Although that could just be my arteries playing up at the prospect of an upcoming deep fried dinner.

Footnote – To clarify, the reason the knife evokes those recollections is it trigger thoughts of dad’s OCD when using the utensil. An affliction resulting in him having to ensure when cutting fresh chips that they were forensically symmetrical in shape.

I know full well now mum’s gone to join my dad in whatever afterlife exists those episodes will hit me twice as hard. Incidents which won’t be eased by me living in my parents home until we (my siblings and I) sell their home in the upcoming months.

Further footnote – Despite my ingrained scepticism, I have to believe there’s an afterlife where not only my mum and dad now once again reside together, but a domain yours truly will one day rendezvous with the people who bestowed so much upon me.

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