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Good cheer, eventually

It’s funny (and not in a good way) having a funeral so close to Christmas. Two days before Christmas and most people are doing the supermarket dash, getting the sherry infused ingredients ready for the trifle, making the beds up for the in-laws staying and doing the last minute wrapping before the kids find the presents.

I didn’t even know if I was going to get there.

The East Midlands area I live in had five inches of snow the day before, and I was heading three hours south on the motorway to the West Country which had had a foot of snow in places (although virtually nothing in other parts of that area weirdly). But I set off in good time, and the traffic wasn’t half as bad as the authorities had said (do they say that on purpose I wonder, to keep people off the roads?) and the weather was as clement as it could be when the whole of the country is covered in snow. So, I got there ok. And suddenly realised that I WAS going to get to the funeral in time. And that brought a strange feeling – because I’d expected that I wasn’t actually going to get there. And then had to focus on the fact that I would attend the funeral I’d helped to plan. My mothers funeral.

It went as well as funerals can go.

I always say that there is more love at a funeral than at a wedding. Because people are there because they want to be there, out of respect, and love, for the person who has died.  And to celebrate the fact that that person has lived, and affected them in some way during their lives.

I looked at the coffin, and was sad.

But also, I know that I felt a comfort for the fact that my mother gave birth to me, that she encouraged me to paint from an early age, and was as supportive of my talent and ability as she could have been. And that helped me to develop into the artist I am today. And through her I found the same delight that she had for people in her life. I know in many ways that I am like her. But there are also some differences in our characters too. I physically look like her, although she was brunette and I am blonde. So I have a strong sense of a family bond from her.

I shall think of her this Christmas, more than at any other time. And I will remember Christmas times past. And I shall miss her. But, I also know that I shall feel very close to her too.

And I hope that you feel close to your families and those you love, as well, and wish you the Happiest of Christmases full of good cheer, happiness, and most of all – L O V E

2 thoughts on “Good cheer, eventually”

  1. Hey Jackie x

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss but I can empathise entirely. After spending Xmas in the nursing home, I watched my stepmum die on Boxing Day. It is the most peculiar experience to step from such an awful place into the outside world where everyone is full of good cheer and seasonal merriment.

    We are now planning not a funeral but a celebration and the one thing we all agree on is that black is not allowed.

    As children we should all move forward with the memories of her better times and erase the pale shadow that existed in the time before Death took her.

    Big hugs x

  2. Jackie Adshead

    Joanna – Aw, I'm so sorry to hear your news, and that you've had the death of a loved one to contend with over the Christmas season. It's bad enough at any time but Christmas seems to enforce it as a whole lot more poignant.

    I wore black to my mums funeral, but it was what I felt was right for me. I know of other funerals where people have worn bright colours in rememberance of the happy times and as a celebration of the fact that person touched their lives and they want the world to know it. Well done on doing that for your step-mum!

    And I agree that we should move forward carrying the thoughts of the better times, and although fully aware of the bad times, lessening their impact on our precious memories.

    Big hugs to you too – take care xx

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