Back to Normal?

Today I am leaving home early to go to pick up my sister and together, we are heading back to Mum’s home town for another day of jobs to be done : we are meeting a potential caterer at the church this morning, so that they can view the kitchen to assess what they would bring with them. It will be the first time that we have been in ‘Mum’s church’ since she died so that will feel odd and we might even see some friends of Mum’s there, she used to go down there for coffee every weekday. But it will be helpful to confront the space before the funeral next week, as it will be hard enough next Thursday.

We have an appointment with the church minister this afternoon, but she will be coming to the house to see us. We will discuss the bones of the funeral service with her : the readings, the eulogies, the hymns etc. We know what we want to happen, but might need some help with the order and some advice on the length of the service perhaps. She announced the date and time at church on Sunday, so the congregation will all know by now. There was a music concert in church at the weekend, by an instrumental group that Mum was very fond of; we have heard from three people now that they dedicated their final piece of music – based upon the hymn ‘How Great thou Art’ – to Mum’s memory. I found that very moving, even though we did not attend to hear it for ourselves. Fortunately, the violinist from that group will be playing at the funeral, so that is a lovely link that Mum would have approved of.

While we are over, we will also call in at the funeral director to sign some paperwork and we will review old family photographs to use in the order of service. So this promises to be a full on, emotional day. But then, they all have been since Mum died even when we have been quietly at home, trying to relax as we are constantly being advised to do.

Joshua returned to school yesterday and I went to the office, trying to be ‘normal’ , when nothing feels the same any more. I was able to do quite a lot at work in the morning, but then I began to flag later, so I came home mid afternoon. I planned a brief nap before Joshua got back from school but that did not happen, with emails I chose to write and phone calls that I received. Having stayed dry-eyed and calm in the office, I was more emotional at home, so much so that I had tears in my eyes still when Joshua arrived home, so I turned on the smiles and loud, excited voice for his benefit and he responded happily in the way that I knew he would. There was no time to wallow once he was home: he wanted his boots and splints removing, I gave him his medication in a chocolate mousse, he told me that he wanted to watch ‘Robbie’ on DVD and then I got his tea on. On the plus side, I had hugs and kisses from him, but much less endearing was his door slamming and his bashing of the telephone on the  mirror in the hall, both to demand attention. Once he had eaten,he dragged me upstairs and into the bathroom, as he wanted an early bath, so we were both in our PJs by the time my husband got home from work.

Joshua was up and down stairs through the evening but he settled into bed around 9 pm , but he was back downstairs later as he had some seizure activity, as he was still gently fitting by the time he reached us. I took him back to bed and lay next to him to observe his seizures, even though he smacked me at first, I persisted and sang to him in the darkness. I fell asleep next to him, so I got my nap, just  7 hours later than I had planned, and when I awoke, Joshua was snoring next to me. Joshua helpfully takes the focus away from what I am feeling , as he needs such practical care. I was asked yesterday if Joshua would be going to his Granny’s funeral, and I replied quickly that of course he would : he loved his Granny and she adored him, so there is nowhere else that he should be. He is unlikely to conform during either service, but we will be surrounded by friends and family who either know him or who have heard Mum talk about him, so his outbursts  will be excused I am sure and he may even prove to be a useful diversion on the day.