I wear bright colours to make myself feel better and brighter than I actually feel, to cheer myself up from the outside in. It is for that reason that I will not be wearing traditional black to my Mum’s funeral this week. Mum did not specify in her funeral instructions whether she wanted a dress code, as a themed colour is becoming more common these days. So we have advised people to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. For me, it is not a sign of disrespect, it is simply a use of colour to try to feel more of a celebration of Mum’s life. It looks as though it may well be a wet , dreary day on Thursday still and so we will need all the help we can to bring some sunshine into church.
Both our parents were passionate about their garden and it always looked immaculate. Mum managed to maintain her large garden herself, after Dad died, until this year when she was relieved to pay for a gardener. Mum always placed a vase of flowers in guest bedrooms, whenever you stayed overnight, it was one of things that I missed when I was staying there when she was in hospital, as it was her signature welcome and a really nice touch. We have asked that the ladies who prepare church flowers might be able to take some flowers or greenery from their garden, so that there is something of their paradise in church. We have also asked the caterer to have simple floral arrangements on each of the tables, again to bring colour and nature indoors.
I have always worn bright colours to try to cheer myself up from the outside : when anxious at work, perhaps, giving a presentation or attending a difficult meeting, I will dress to give myself confidence.It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, that I look bright and confident, so I start to feel it eventually. It can also be a useful decoy for other people, that they think that I am feeling more cheerful than I am, because of what they can see.
Granny bought Joshua a lot of smart clothes over the years and so he will be dressed in something that she bought him for Christmas or his birthday. Again, I will not be dressing Joshua head to foot in black, which I did do at his Grandpa’s funeral. He has many more significant items of clothing to wear to say goodbye to Granny in. She always loved to see him in the clothing that she had bought, to know that I, and he, liked it enough to wear. She was always sensible enough to buy from M&S, with gift receipts carefully attached, but we very rarely needed to return her gifts, as she always had such great taste. The only issues that we sometimes had were that, she would buy a size too small, disbelieving that he could really be as tall or grown up as he was. He was wearing small man sizes long before he was 18 and more recently, as he is filling out, he is a medium. She commented that Joshua was the same slight build and clothes size as his Grandpa, and in fact she donated some home-knitted jumpers that she had made for her husband and could not bear to part with at the charity shop with the rest of his clothes, as they were made with too much love. Joshua wears both arran-style jumpers with pride and they will be even more special now.
We want to feel comfortable and confident at Mum’s funeral on Thursday, but beyond that , our choice of clothes really does not matter.