The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Celebrating a Long Life, Well Lived... not yer average funeral.  Nor was Our Ma yer average woman.  She was bright, bold, brave, cheerful and kind.  And so, in the same way she lived, we will mark her passing.

No lugubrious music and mournful black.  She will come in to Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller, and pass through the crematorium curtains to What A Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong. Those attending have been asked to wear their brightest garb, and if we clash, all the better! 

The five foot long spray ordered by the family to lie along the length of her coffin will have huge colourful lilies, and vibrant strongly-scented freesias, and it will be augmented by several extra-large Chuppa lollies stuck in here and there.  In her latter years, especially when in the home, she often asked visitors for a lollipop (or a stick of rock if we said we were going away for a weekend or a holiday) which were duly brought along on the next visit, greeted with enthusiasm, the popped in her handbang, or a drawer in her room, and then utterly forgotten, and never eaten.  The sister-in-law, when she visited Freddie's room the home last week, found lots of lollies about the place, and so was magically inspired to include them in the main floral tribute.

I guess a stranger, viewing the garb of those attending, or the flowers, will assume it was young person, a child even, who has died.  In a way, and not just because her dementia ushered in a "second childhood" of fragility and high dependence on others, it would be almost appropriate if they thought that as Our Ma never entirely 100% grew up.  It was this fabulous childlike quality (which The Husband has inherited in spades) that made her such a marvellous mother; imaginative, playful, inventive and full of enthusiasm for life.

So it is Girlie (her childhood nickname) we are commemorating, as well as Mrs Winfred Bulmer.  And because she lived to fulfil all her potential, and well beyond the average life span, it has that element of remembering the infant and the younger woman, but no sorrowful sense of a life cut short before it had been fully lived. Her life WAS lived, and THEN some!

All of us there will be thinking, I guess, we should be so lucky.  Her life has shown us the way to squeeze every last drop of delicious juice, extract every minute of joy and fun, from the energy and time one has been granted on this earth.

Her true memorial will be if we all try to remember to do that, if we can, and not grouse or grumble our way into later life feeling bloody sorry for ourselves.


  1. Hari OM
    This is a tremendous tribute - will be thinking of you tomorrow. YAM xx

    1. Tomorrow we travel back to Herts, YAM, the funeral is Thursday. As the UK weather is improving by the minute, I have suggested we go the cross-country way, by A and B roads, no motorways, and take the MG. The Husband is, as I believe they say on Merseyside, "made up" at the prospect. Provided we break the journey in half, and have a spot of lunch after a couple of hours, it should be a very pleasant interlude. We are in a dog-friendly hotel on Weds and Thurs, so The Dog is coming as well and will be made much of along the way, as befits Our Ma's canine grandson.

    2. ... my apologies - being a bit ahead in time tends to confuse matters (never mind the MENO). Your trip sounds ideal. Warm Regards. xx

  2. A really marvellous tribute to a truly remarkable woman, Marion. I love the sense of loving gratitude for a life lived to the uttermost which permeates every word. if ever a woman deserved a rousing and celebratory send-off, it's Your Ma! The lollies are the prefect finishing touch. :-)