Another week in Stamford. Firstly, thank you all so much for your lovely comments and messages on the last post. I started this blog to share my life as So You're Getting Married wasn't the place for it anymore. It's cathartic for me to write everything out, and it's warming to connect with other people that may have been through similar experiences.
My days at the moment are a total blur but I will try my best to recall the week *looks in to camera roll for key moments*.
On Monday morning Dad and I went to finally register mums death. The town hall used to be situated in a gorgeous building in the town centre. It is now in a depressing estate on the outskirts of town overlooked by a Macdonalds and a PC World.
Wendy was polite and professional. Essentially her job is data entry but she did a very good job. Death certificates are £4 each. You need more than one. I feel like that is information everyone should know as you have to pay in cash. You also need to take a long A LOT of paperwork of the person you are registering. To make life easier after you've passed I really do suggest keeping you birth/marriage certificate, passport, medical card, NI card all in one place, if just for fun if nothing else. Afterwards we went in to town, bought dinner, went to the pub then came home. Michael then got in to town late, and we stayed back in The George, I got in to bed around 11pm had the best passionfruit sorbet and then fell asleep.
On Tuesday we were at the funeral directors to actually discuss the funeral plans. The three of us arrived promptly at 12pm for our appointment. We weren't in their calendar apparently so we got places in the "lilac room" (vom) and asked to wait. The lady came in and sat down, looked Dad dead in the face and said "I am sorry, I don't know what you're doing here". The fact they had mum there, and the fact we had walked in to a funeral directors obviously wasn't giving the game away but we explained we did have an appointment and ya know, we would like to arrange a funeral. She fetched all the bumph, and my god. Funerals are as dated as weddings were about 10 years ago. The flowers, the stationery, even the coffins! The kind of washed out sepia photos with damask belly bands. Just no.
I feel they prey on the fact that people are in a vulnerable situation so just agree to XYZ because it is in the co-op booklet. We are doing our own flowers and order of service.
It wasn't a nice experience, I can't imagine what it's like doing that alone because its a lot of questions and choices to make. What I would suggest is taking a lot of prep with you. You can then just hand over pieces of paper with song names, readings etc without have to talk about them, which can be emotive.
I am seriously considering getting involved in the funeral industry. There is no streamlining and there is so much 'death admin'. SO much. Every day since mum has died there has been someone we have had to contact, from vision express, the council to friends and family. The questions have been the same in HSBC as they have at the registry office. Why can't all of this be done online? The companies are only open 9-5 and its essentially ticking boxes and sending copies of the certificate?
We left with a date for the funeral (which is the 6th April, a day after my parents wedding anniversary :( ). From there we went to Miss Pickering to tell her of the date and discuss flowers. We are having family flowers only, a massive huge ass spring flower explosion of loveliness to go atop the coffin. Spring flowers were always Mum's favourite.
Anywho. Wednesday. *looks at phone* yeah apparently I didn't do much. I actually worked, I have a back log of weddings to upload so cracked on with that as well as emails and blog admin. I have had Laura (laura.belardo) helping me this entire time and she has been wonderful. She's replied to emails, booked events to attend and uploaded images to instagram so I could just focus on the other bits. Lili went back up North.
*my laptop died a little death and none of last weeks post was saved so I will continue from here*
Michael came down for the weekend, we went for drinks with friends. We also found out that after all of this funeral planning mum was going to be sent for a post mortem. A separate Dr called that didn't know mum, our doctors or Dad, he was basically a doctoral Switzerland and enquired whether Dad was happy with the service. He said no and explained why. In summation, how does a woman diagnosed with stage 1 bowel cancer, after been given the all clear die a week later because it had spread to her brain? How was this missed? The Dr agreed and contacted the coroner.
The funeral was then on hold. Just what we wanted. To cut a very long and tiresome story short. Mums body was collected on Tuesday and should have been back in Stamford by Thursday before Easter. Thus the funeral could still go ahead as all paperwork will have time to get to the crematorium, she is currently still in Leicester but all the paperwork has been done to ensure the funeral can still go ahead. The main stinger is that she still hasn't been laid to rest and we would like to see her one last time before Friday.
Had to do some work which involved taking photos of myself, Michael kept photobombing but I got the images and nervously put them on the SYGM insta, thank you so much if you liked the photo!
I felt ill this weekend, my stomach ulcer is flaring back up and in general I feel unwell. We checked back in to The George on Friday, comfiest bed yet and I slept well for a few hours a night which was nice. We didn't really celebrate Easter this year, we'd usually have a big family meal but I don't think anyone is really in the mood for it. I didn't even buy an easter egg! I have however bought lots of pretty things for the house.
Oh! The new chair and foot stool arrived last week (29th Mar). I got Michael to send me a quick snap which I decided to put on facebook and its now one of my most liked images, not the beautifully captured Stamford, not the lovely Georgian architecture...a shit photo Michael took. Must just learn that people mainly want to see pictures of the house!
I don't want the posts to be all gloom at the moment. I appreciate I am not going through the best of times, is this even good blog content? I am not sure, but I find it cathartic to write my weeks out. I have now been in Stamford longer than I have been in the new house, isn't that crazy? So , what good things have been happening?
I have watched a lot of TV (nothing new there) favourites have been:
- Keeping Faith (netflix) crime/thriller
- Last Man on Earth (amazon prime) comedy
- Parks and Recreation (amazon prime) comedy
- Unsolved (iplayer) true crime docu
- Detectorists (netflix) comedy
- Girls Incarcerated (netflix) reality/true crime
- Flint Town (netflix) true crime docu series
- This Country (iplayer) comedy
- Ordeal by Innocence (iplayer) period whodunnit thriller
I have been loving instagramming my little trip down here, yes there are a lot of doors but it distracts my brain to go out for a little wander and take some pics. I have written a Stamford guide which is up tomorrow.
I have bought some pretty things for the house and have been honing in on exactly how I want things to look, especially the roof terrace and living room.
Spending time with Dad has been lovely, and something I obviously haven't really done since I have lived at home.
Learning more about my anxiety. Oh my its been high. I am beyond anxious about the funeral on Friday. There is a drive there too which is just the cherry on the cake. I will be interested to see how I feel afterwards. On the plus side I got my email through to say I have been accepted back for CBT and I am on the waiting list.
I am walking about 10k steps a day. Something I never did in Leeds!
I bought this shirt from M&S (in blue but like the red!) ready for warmer weather, it fits so nicely and feels super soft.
I met Poppy the puppy today and she was gorgeous
Right, it's time to watch Bear Grylls! I hope you are well? Thank you so much if you've got in touch. I read everything that is sent, I just may not reply but thats sometimes because I may not be in the mood. I am also still loving the pics of dogs/podcast/film recommendations so keep them coming!