20 June 2006

So what happened at the funeral? Well there's a level at which I'm not going to go into (because certain people read this) but the rest is pretty honest.

The background to all this was that the three sons who are executors of the will had spent most the preceeding week disputing and negotiating the terms (such as whether an 'adopted' child but not a blood relative counted as a 'grandchild' and was entitled to a share of the pot). All of which left quite a few of us in the family feeling pretty cold about it.

I got up there on Thursday late afternoon (just in time to see the most boring and useless England performance ever) and had a few beers with my dad, sister and brother-in-law before they all headed off and I had my usual early hours (only 4am this time) chat-and-crib marathon with my uncle. It started to hit me then while I was in her house that I wasn't going to see her again. Naturally, I got a bit upset now and then.

The next day was chaotic with the house seemingly full of people early doors. I wish I'd just stayed in bed until just before the hearse arrived because I can't stand the waiting around before a funeral. I always feel utterly useless because no-one is looking forward to what's going to happen, no-one is going to be cheered up by anything, so we all just sit around drinking cups of tea in suits.

The funeral itself was fine. My sister read out a very beautiful short piece she'd written about her memories of Nanny and the service was taken by the guy who married one of my cousins and knew Nanny well (rather than some vicar who'd never met her). Plenty of tears all round.

The wake was at our usual pub in Yarm where everyone's decision to be practical and not talk about Nanny but about everything else started to grate with me after a while (it wasn't how I was feeling - how can anyone have a serious conversation about cycle helmets an hour after you've watched your mother-in-law go up in smoke?). In the end my brother-in-law (who's german so wasn't in tune with our cultural ways of dealing with the dead - they do something different in germany) and I went inside and watched the Holland v Ivory Coast game. Then we all went our separate ways for an hour and reconvened for dinner but in many ways it was worse. Now we were just down to the closest members, several of which had (in my eyes) acted disgracefully over the will, and I couldn't stand their company anymore. We watched the Mexico v Angola match instead... :)

Only a 3am finish with my uncle that night when I found out some of the details of what had gone on the previous week - proud of some people for being selfless, disgusted with others for their greed. By the time I woke up and came down (about 10am - early for me!) it was like a bomb had hit the house. The same greedy fuckers had swiped just about anything they could get their hands on and it was like a treasure hunt was taking place. It felt wrong. Very, very wrong. Though I did take a couple of mementoes that no-one else wanted in the end, and a cutting of the Japanese Maple tree my sister and I bought my grandparents many moons ago. Now all I need is a garden to plant it in! :)

Then we all drove out to the middle of the moors to scatter the ashes at a place my grandparents loved the most. My other uncle disposed of the ashes with all the ceremony of flicking a fag end out of the car window. It seemed an appropriate end to the weekend somehow.

This is where her ashes went. We'll miss you Nanny.


Post a Comment

<< Home