Saturday, April 20, 2019


I buried my mother today.

Quite literally, I buried my mother. The ceremonials had been done and dusted a few weeks ago and today I placed her ashes in the bottom of a big tub in my father's garden, covered it with compost and planted over it a rose bush that my aunt had bought as a memorial for her. I asked my father if he wanted to say a few words but he said that he'd do it as and when they came to him on his own as he pottered about the garden. Which is more than fair enough.

I'd made the mistake of telling the ex-small object of desire that both parents would probably outlive the rest of us. A couple of weeks later and both were visited upon by the nasty chest infection that was going round. My dad was laid low at home and my mum had to go into hospital. One day she was at in a ward eating cottage pie and trying to play a tune on the oxygen monitors. A couple of days later she was critical on a ventilator. On her last day she had enough strength to be fed a bowl of leek and potato soup and some grapes, and lots of cups of tea. We managed to get the immediate family round to say goodbye, which was a consolation.

When I was making the funeral arrangements I gave my brother the job of coaxing a choice of three pieces of music out of my dad. In the end the choice was good: "Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring," Mama Cass singing "Dream A Little Dream of Me," and the Beatles' "In My Life."

The other day I dreamt I was doing the reading at my own funeral. It was all rather lovely and I woke up with a tear-stained pillow. These were the three pieces of music:

Be kind to each other.


dinahmow said...

I can't think of much else just now. Except to say that I hope someone is being kind to you.

I like the idea of your Dad pottering around and chatting to the rose...

Have a cyber hug.

Ms Scarlet said...

So sorry to read this, Kevin. My mum died in early March, and one of the tunes we picked for her was On Mother Kelly's Doorstep - the last tune in her service, and it worked surprisingly well, making us smile through the tears. My Dad wants something by the Goons. It does all make you think about your own mortality, and the tunes that you that you'd choose for yourself. I've decided I want an eighties themed club night with glitter ball and strobes.

helen devries said...

I am sorry that you have lost your mother...I love the idea of your father chatting to her while he potters in the garden.

My mother died in late March...luckily she had left loose instructions as to her wishes but nothing as to music so as the only relative that was down to me.

Army friends with an evil sense of humour suggested that as she had been attached to the Rifle Brigade in her time in the ATS the pallbearers should advance into the chapel at light infantry pace...she would have loved it but we'd probably have finished off the poor chaps so reluctantly discarded the idea.

Given the lack of smelling salts for the more susceptible of mourners Colonel Bogey as the coffin disappeared was discarded too.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Many thanks all. March does seem to have been a cruel month. Sorry to hear of your losses Scarlet and Helen.

A glitter ball, and strobes, with Colonel Bogey has a certain appeal to it.