I have thought whether to blog about going to Spuds birth’s mums funeral. I have decide to for 2 main reasons –
1 – it may help others who may have similar experiences in the future
2 – writing it down has helped me to express some of my feelings
We found out just before Christmas that Spuds birth mum had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Even now we don’t have any more details which Spud has found really difficult, he has had lots of questions none of which I could answer.
I decided early on that I would like to attend the funeral, to represent Spud and to try and capture even the smallest of stories that could help Spud in the future. Of course I spoke to family and friends about going and most people couldn’t understand why I wanted to go. My mum offered to come with me as she was concerned about me going on my own. It was very kind of her to offer but it was not the right thing for her. She really did not understand why I wanted to go, had concerns over me going and concerns for the future if I did go. Of course I could see why she felt the way she did, she wanted to protect me.
The relief on her face when I told her that a social worker was going to come with me proved that it was the right decision for her not to come.
Once we had details of the funeral, I spoke to Spud and explained when it was going to be. He asked if he was going and I said that no, I did not think it was appropriate for him to go. He seemed very relieved as well and never asked again. We sat and chose flowers for her funeral and Spud was very clear that he wanted pink roses. That is what we ordered. We chose the words carefully for the card to go with the flowers and signed it from all of us as I felt it needed to come from us all as a family. Spud asked if a photo of him could be out in her coffin. He knew exactly what photo he wanted and chose one of my favirote photos.
We did of course check via the undertakers that the family were happy for us to send flowers and for the photo before organising them.
The day arrived and I went to meet with the social worker who was going to come with me. We drove to the Church and chit chatted then spoke about what I would say if anyone asked who I was, how I would feel if they didn’t mention Spud during the funeral and was I really sure about going.
I had prepared a very brief cover story in my head and felt I would find it harder if they did mention spud during the service.
The Church was beautiful, huge and in the middle of a large city. As we walked up to the Church I took a photo to show Spud. We were early but could already see people going in. We decided to enter and were given a copy of the order of service. That was a very strange moment when it suddenly seemed so real.
We sat towards the back which was great until we were asked to move forward as more people were coming in. I watched as approximately 100 people took their seats in the Church. You could clearly see the differnt groups who had all come to pay their respects from all walks of her life.
Sitting there and listening I had a moment and wondered if it was right that I was there. Then the music started and birth mums coffin was brought in. The first thing I noticed was the flowers that Spud had chosen, they were on the coffin and looked beautiful.
The service started and the vicar gave, what I thought, was a balanced service. He spoke about birth mums early family life, what she enjoyed doing and how the whole family spent their time. He then explained about Spud being born and that birth mum had not always made the right life choices. How she had never got over having Spud removed. This was very difficult to listern to.
The vicar then talked more about her recent life, the choices she had made and the groups she belonged to. He spoke more about Spud and then her last few days.
It was a very moving and honest service.
The service ended and as people started to leave the Church, I could listern to snippets of stories about birth mum.
We left, walked staight back to the car and home.
When I got back I showed Spud the order of service, spoke about the flowers, showed him a photo of the Church and how many people were there to pay their respects. I told him a couple of the stories I had heard and we had a hug.
That evening and the next day I felt exhausted, emotionally drained and hurt all over. I think it was the stress, pressure and general build up. I feel better today but still far from right.
Looking back I stand by my decision to go, the reasons why I wanted to go and the hope it my just help Spud in the future. Of course it would not be right for everyone and that has to be a decision you make if it ever happens.