The Aftermath

pink flower plant with green leaves
Photo by Alan Cabello on

The days just after my mam died were the easiest. That is probably surprising for most of you. I get a lot of people tell me that if it were them they would still be locked in a dark room somewhere. Do you want to know what I tell them? I tell them their wrong. That they probably wouldn’t be locked in a dark room, they would be out there surprising themselves. Just like I was.

Now I can’t speak for everybody. Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, and I’m not saying that everyone is like me. All I’m saying is people can suprise themselves.

So yeah those first few days which led into a week or two were the easiest. I had always had nightmares of losing my mam (again not behind a settee) so when it actually happened it was really surreal. As in I would catch myself thinking, wow this is actually happening or go to text her and remember she was never going to reply again. But those first days/weeks were the easiest, it’s when I was my busiest, my most distracted.

Then there were the people. My family. My friends. Her friends. My house was never empty. I had flowers, I had cards, I had messages from people I had never heard of. And I was glad for it. I really was. People were the best distraction. I was happy to hear from the friends I hadn’t heard from in a while and I was happy to see her friends who I hadn’t seen for years. I was pleased to have the company and cups of tea.

It was at night when it got worse. I would stay up for hours to avoid going to bed. When I did eventually go to bed I couldn’t sleep. This is where he comes in. He would lie with me and hold me as I cried all of the tears I’d fought off that day, he would make conversation over anything at all as a distraction, we would watch stupid videos on his phone until finally I would fall asleep to Game of Thrones. If I’m honest I couldn’t get through the night without him and he knew it too. He didn’t leave my bed for weeks after she died. More and more of his clothes came to my house among other things he may possibly need. He was prepared and I was so happy one of us was.

My dad stayed a while as well but I suppose there is only so much sleeping on a settee one man can take. But he took as much time as he could off work and in the weeks that followed her death he came back and forth as much as he could. The pair of them, him and my dad would keep going to the shop for things we needed or just things we might want. I’ll be honest it was nice, being looked after for a little while.

I spent my days making the appropriate phone calls and responding to condolence messages. Catching up with friends and drinking tea. And smoking. I admit I smoked a lot. I went up to more than twenty a day some days. I didn’t care, I was just passing the time.

Then there was the funeral. Choosing a casket, picking the flowers, deciding on the music, writing my eulogy. Designing the orders of service and taking a dress to the funeral directors for her to wear. We all needed something to wear. My dad didn’t even have a suit and again that’s where he comes in. He came with us to help my dad buy his suit. And did I mention earlier he was the one making the cups of tea?

So yeah, those first two weeks were the easy part. I didn’t mind so much planning her funeral. I had help. Besides I wanted to give her the funeral she deserved. I didn’t mind making the appropriate phone calls. I’m the eldest and someone had to do it. I didn’t mind talking to different people for hours during the day. We were all remembering her.

But eventually people need to go back to living their lives. And every phone call has been made, every arrangement arranged. Cups are washed and put away and flowers start to wither and die. Everything that needed to be done is now done so all you can do now is wait. Wait for the day of the funeral to arrive. Wait for your final goodbyes.

Thanks for reading x

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