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Friday, 27 August 2010

Death and shit poetry

Well the funeral has been arranged for next Friday and I'm deep into arranging invitations and wondering who is going to provide a few dodgy sarnies and sausage rolls for the mourners to scoff afterwards. I've already mentioned the farcical moment when my sister and I realised we'd thrown away all mum's clothes, leaving nothing,literally nothing for her to be buried in. Apart from a swimsuit.

There have been other moments too. Like the deluge of shitty poetry we've been getting through the post. On pink swirly cards. The worst one so far has been:

We saw her fading like a flower
We could not make her stay
We tended her with love and care
Till the Lord God took her away.

'Gobshite' as dad muttered.

Nobody knows what to say. Well there's nothing you can say to make it better. The relatives and friends with brains have said that they're very sorry and left it at that. Others have come out with: 'You must be so pleased she's at peace.' Oh yeah - thrilled. And 'God wanted her in heaven.' He told you that did he? And 'Sorry I can't make it to the funeral - I have a dental appointment. You do understand don't you?' Of course. By the way - I hope the drill slips through your jaw.

I'm trying to write a tribute to mum and wondering what kind of poem to quote. Any ideas?


Ellen Arnison said...

There is a lot of nasty poetry about for people to use when they don't have the nous to say something for themselves. But for funeral poems - Death is Nothing at all, for my grandfather
I thank you God that I have lived for dad He is Gone for my brother. All worked for us.

Jane said...

Thank you Ellen. I'll check them out.

Kit Courteney said...

Oh poo. Your updates haven't been showing on my dashboard so I had no idea.

Jane, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I can't begin to understand what you and your family are going through but I do know that it must all be bloody awful.

Thinking of you - although that's a bit of a sodding pointless thing to say. I'm the sort who'd send a pink swirly card - I'd scribble out the naff words and write my own naff ones. And then regret it.

Thinking of you (however naff it sounds, it's genuine) x

Coding Mamma (Tasha) said...

This was what I wrote for my dad's funeral:

Thank you for giving me life.
Thank you for a wonderfully happy childhood.
Thank you for teaching me.
Thank you for giving me Eva.
Thank you for all the lovely meals.
Thank you for playing so many family games.
Thank you for the beers you have bought me and the talks.
Thank you for walking the dog.
Thank you for all your work on our house.
Thank you for the smiles and the hugs and the kisses and the love.
But most of all, thank you for being the best father.

I really should dig out the sympathy cards, but they're in a boc under about 10 other boxes. Most of them were meaningless tripe, but there was one that was just perfect and I really want the poem for other people. Sorry, if I find it I will pass it on.

Good luck.

Hodmandod said...

I bought an antique Victorian nightie for my mother to rest in. Day clothes didn't seem quite right. Sorry you have lost your mother. It is the saddest thing, but it is in the right order and we do survive. I never thought I would, but the intensity of shock does diminish although the memories never do.

Jane said...

@Hodmandod - that's true about day clothes. I've decided to give my mother some silk pj's I bought for her in Singapore which she was keeping 'for best'. They're slippery soft and a lovely golden colour and as you say seem much more suitable than day clothes.