A Family Goodbye

Mum and Roger


Yesterday was Mum’s funeral. In pre-virus days this would have been a large gathering. First there would have been a solemn requiem Mass in Our Lady of the Rosary, her parish church. Mum had already chosen the hymns she wanted and I know that so many of her friends from church and further afield would have been there. After that we’d have held a celebration of her life, inviting everyone we could think of, whose lives she had touched and who had been important to her−and it would have been a large crowd.

Now, of course, that can’t happen. Only a few of the family were at the cremation and Mike and I couldn’t be among them. Watching the live streaming of the service was an intense and emotional experience.

Together with my brother and sister, the three of us had written our tribute to Mum, which was followed by the grandchildren’s memories, which again had input from all of them. Both Anuk’s reading and Elliot’s were full of warmth, love and humour which conjured up Mum perfectly. Finally Maddy read a poem that she’d written, with Lucy, about Baba. It began “Baba is warm hearted and cuddly/She is tomato soup and chocolate croissants.”

Mum’s tomato soup featured largely in the tributes. It was her own unique recipe that none of us have quite managed to replicate, but I suspect it will be served in quantity at her memorial party. There will have to be cheesecake too and possibly pig in coke…For the provision and serving of food is an abiding image we all have of Mum, an image which truly represents her generous and loving spirit.

Another thing both grandchildren and great-grandchildren mentioned was how Mum greeted you with a kiss and said goodbye with a blessing. We will all miss that, just as we missed being able to hug each other yesterday, but one day we will and in the meantime as Anuk said in our tribute,

“Having lived to such a wonderful age, Mum had been through extraordinary times. She called her memoir,” We were lucky.” So were we, thank you, Mum.”





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