Attending my husband’s funeral, just eight days After my world changed from normal to sad, was the most surreal thing I’ve ever done. The most surreal thing I think I ever will do.
I blogged that night, and I vaguely remember doing that, so exhausted, my eyes swollen and red like sandpaper, my mind still trying to play catch up with how the hell this happened to me, to us, to Tony.
There were so many people there.. hundreds of them. But when the long black car pulled up, and I managed to lift my body, which weighed a solid tonne with grief, from the gothic insides of it… there are people everywhere. All I can see are people.
And I know not a single one of them. there is not a face there I recognise and for a moment I wonder, bizarrely, if we are at the wrong place, wrong chapel, wrong crematorium. Then there are funeral directors and roses and we are led inside and my feet are so heavy and I don’t want to do this, I want to go home, but let’s just get it over with, I want it over.
They have an AV issue, they take forever to start.
And the only pall bearer I remember is my brother and I am so proud of him, what a long journey to make, what a heavy burden to carry.
And then I see the fucking roses on the coffin and they are purple and I know Tony’s sister ordered blue and yellow and I cannot stand that purple colour, I cannot do this, and I squeeze my mother’s hand and whisper “Not funny, Tony“, and I start to giggle hysterically, sobbing at the same time.
“Will you be OK to speak? Do you need someone with you?“
No, I say, this is what I do. I know I wanted to speak, I always knew, but I didn’t know what to say. Words tumble out my mouth, laced with salty tears and once I am done I expect to feel relief and there is none.
And the slideshow makes me cry, and so does the music. And funerals are so fucking horrible and hot and I want to go home, home to my Purple Life.
It’s when the curtains close, that I lose my ability to speak, to form words. I can do nothing but stare at the ground. That heaviness, it’s so complete it’s almost like it’s impossible to move, I will never do it again. I leave the chapel, feet dragging, eyes down, and sit in a gazebo outside and people come to ‘pay respects’ (fuck off and leave me be, please) and all I can do is stare at them.
People leave. I am one of the last to go.
I wish I’d gone to his coffin, once everyone left, and said goodbye.
I’m glad I didn’t.
We have stayed for so long, there is another family arriving, another funeral to begin soon.
Life, it goes on.
What a bitch.