In Memoriam

8 May

It was a beautiful, special, poignant and most importantly, really happy day.  A day about my mum, for my mum, in memory of my mum. That might sound odd ( it was her funeral after all) but believe me most other funerals I’ve been to could have been about anyone.  Tom, Dick OR Harry.

After this experience, I’m not sure why anyone would choose a standard church service.  Okay, that’s easy for me to say – I’m not religious, and I’m not desperate to make things right with God and send mum off to an eternity sitting on fluffy clouds and eating honey from golden spoons. (I’m being facetious of course, my lovely churchy friends). It’s just I remember my Dad’s funeral – held at the church where he had attended for years – and you’d never have known that the vicar had even met him. His name just cut and pasted at the top of his sermon.

My mother’s, on the other hand was a humanist service, filled with the usual tributes and poems and music (but beautifully written, expertly chosen and exquisitely read of course), and with the added treat of a rather remarkable humanist celebrant. This lovely, kind lady held it all together expertly, speaking eloquently in length about my mum, negotiating the usual unexploded familial landmines like an unshakeable divorce mediator.  She was sensitive, humorous, respectful, despite never having met her.  She’d come to visit us for 3 1/2 hours the week previously and listened as we rambled on about anything and everything to do with our darling mum. Cheap therapy.

After the service we’d invited everyone back to my mum’s house for a reception surrounded by all her things – photos, music, cards – memories of a life lived, things achieved, struggles fought and won.  We’d half expected noone to come back, or to visit for just a respectful glass of water and an exchange of a few, brief pleasantries. You  never know with these things.   But it was packed to the brim with sandwich munching, wine guzzling,  (rather a lot of wine guzzling in fact) and happy revellers, enjoying the moment, celebrating a beautiful lady, bidding farewell to a much loved friend.

My mum would have been truly proud.

20 Responses to “In Memoriam”

  1. greenmumsblog May 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    That’s beautful, thanks for sharing this wonderful post – I’m sure your mum would be really proud x

  2. rozzibee May 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    So glad it was a nice service. My friends mums service was also a humanist one and it was lovely. It’s the way forward I think. Your mum would have been so pleased x

  3. jfb57 May 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    What a fabulous post about an amazing day! I’m so glad you were happy with it & have good memories of it. I know your mum would have enjoyed it too & been so very proud of you all & how you are coping. Mind you, that’s how she brought you up eh! xxx

  4. TheBoyandMe May 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    That is such a beautiful post, a tribute to your mum. I will confess to tears whilst reading it, mot that you should be concerned with me, but I wanted to tell you because I sensed your emotions: love, devotion, heartwrenching pain, joy, sorrow, pride. The service sounds fitting and apt. What a lovely idea to have had the ‘wake’ at her home, allowing people the opportunity to say goodbye in a personal way and feel close once more. Huge sympathies

  5. susie @newdaynewlesson May 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Beautiful hun.

    The only thing I would say different is that your mum IS proud of you, not would have been proud of you. I know she heard and saw everything.

    I would love to hear what you spoke about.

    Sending hugs and love.

  6. bsouth May 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    It sounds like it was the best possible goodbye.

    Lots of love
    all of us

  7. scribblingmum May 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    I am so happy that you had a humanist celebration. My Grandad’s was one and it was just perfect, we all learnt so much about him. After that service my Mum retired from her career as a health visitor and became a humanist celebrant herself. She absolutely loves that she can provide such a personal thing for families, she feels like she knew the person by the end of it.

    Funerals, goodbyes are never easy but I think a service like this can give you a positive focus. X

  8. tiddlyompompom May 8, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect celebration of your mum’s life. Funerals are always hard, but I have also always found them therapeutic and somehow a positive experience x

  9. Donna @ NappyDaze May 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    It certainly sounds like you gave your mum a most beautiful and well deserved day of remembrance. I also say belatedly that I am so sorry for your loss, that I somehow hope the sun starts to peek back in to your world. My best friend lost her beautiful mum late last year and its been a tough road of loss but she was willing to let us all in, to lean on us, to not face the battle of grief alone. I hope you have many who will also square up the same fight for you xx

  10. kelloggsville May 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Oh I am so pleased that it happened ina way that made you feel good about it and you know your mum would have wanted. It will be comforting to look back without regret or worry or wishes. Well done for getting is right. Still thinking about you xxx

  11. Simone May 9, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Thats what these things are meant to be like, my lovely friend – a way t celebrate the life of someone precious.
    I am glad the service was just what you needed;
    Much Love & cyber hugs from
    (your churchy friend who is not a fan of cut-n-paste funerals either)


  12. Chris Mosler May 9, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    It sounds like a glorious celebration. So much love to you from me. x

  13. Paul F May 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Darling Henri – I couldn’t agree with this more, I’ve been having many of the same thoughts since. It was a real celebration of Rosemary and a very successful day all round I thought, largely down to you and Rachel, as well as the excellent humanist lady xx

  14. Lady-like Pervert May 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    That is AWESOME! That’s how I wanna go!
    SO glad to hear a little sunshine in your voice again. xo

  15. Muddling Along May 10, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    It sounds like a wonderful tribute to your Mum – well done

    And love and prayers for you and your family

  16. Miss Jacq May 10, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I’m really pleased the day went well. Sounds like you celebrated your Mum’s life which is lovely. As I tweeted a few days ago, your Mum will always be proud of you…… Always!. Stay strong lovely lady XX

  17. Vegemitevix May 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    This was so wonderful I’m actually sitting here with tears bristling. Well done, your Mum would have been so proud of her girls. xxx

  18. Deer Baby May 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    It sounds like it was a wonderful celebration of her life, with all the people there who mattered and who loved her.

  19. Doodlemum May 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    My thoughts are with you lovely, I’m so very sorry. Memories are wonderful and never fade if you keep them alive. Gentle hugs and tears for you all.

  20. Rachael May 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Oh I am so pleased, if that makes sense. My dad’s funeral was a release, too – so lovely to see how many people loved him, so nice to laugh, and remember the lovely things about him, and realise that his sense of humour and personality had touched so many people. I think of you often. Much love. x

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