Someone phoned Colin and told him it was okay to bring the boys home…
My friend Judy arrived. I can’t remember for love or money what she said. I do remember the comfort I felt from her presence. The boys arrived and we group hugged. I remember thinking “how calm they are”…
I took them through to Vic’s room, the linen had already been changed and the room tidied. One would never say someone as precious as my beautiful Vic had died in the room a couple of hours earlier… Vic’s room looked the same as it would have looked if she was in hospital. As if she would be home within a couple of days or weeks … as thousands of times before.
We cried a bit. We spoke about her suffering being over. I could sense her gentle spirit.
Vic’s room was not a scary place to be. Esther said that it was a room of love… I was so scared the boys would not want to go into Vic’s room, that they would associate the room with death. My dad too died in that room… I knew I had to sleep in Vic’s bed (again) that night.
The minister and undertaker arrived at the same time. The minister had prayed for Vic so many times in her life…he knew her well. I always called him my “secret weapon”. On umpteen occasions he prayed the dying prayer and Vic would miraculously recover! This time it had not worked. This time he would pray the prayer for the dead…
The boys and Colin sat in on the meeting. We discussed the service and I requested that Vic not be referred to as the “deceased”. Vic had given me the order of the service, the hymns she wanted sung and the names of her pallbearers. The boys decided on Psalm 71 as the Scripture reading – it was Vic’s favourite Psalm and one of their favourites. It was easy. The minister, Bella, prayed and left.
The undertaker hauled out his I pad and within minutes he had scanned Vic’s and my ID documents. He showed us lots of photos of different caskets. We chose a dark coloured rectangular casket.
“Would you like flowers on the coffin?” he asked
“Oh yes” I said. “St Joseph’s lilies – lots and lots of them” I asked.
“How big must the bouquet be?” he asked
“The entire length and width of the coffin” I replied
“That’s a lot of flowers” he said. “The coffin is 2m long…”
“That’s far too big” I said
“Mommy will slide up and down in the coffin” one of the boys said….
“Don’t worry” he said. “We put in wedges so she would slide around”
“We want 2 metres of flowers” I said
“Can we add another type of flower” he asked
“White roses” the boys said simultaneously
“Do you want a viewing or an open casket” the undertaker asked.
“No! No-one is to see Vic the ways she looks now.” I said
The funeral was arranged.
18 thoughts on “St Joseph’s Lilies…”
Sending you love and hugs through this time! I wish I could walk over and hug you today and the boys as you process. This journey has been so heartbreaking but I love your strength. Wrapping arms around you from Houston, Tx.
I’m not sure if you realize how much your blog is helping so many of us – thank you.
Oh Tersia, thank you for letting us share your grief. I hope you have her fingerprint that you can email me.
I do have her fingerprint. Please let me have your email address again.
The lilies and white roses were a beautiful idea. Thinking of you, not as if that is of much use in yor grief. You continue to be brave in writing these harrowing posts, which will indeed help others.
‘n groot drukkie vir jou
I know you are going through a rough time right now. I also know, that Vic appreciated all the love, attention and care you gave to her. I can’t imagine what you are going through by losing a child. However, I have lost my mom twice. I lost her as a child when she took ill and could no longer take care of me. I was placed in a foster home, but it was one of a woman we knew, so I felt safe. Then I lost my mother in 2009, then I was an adult. Being an only child I had to do all the arrangements (first time ever dealing with that) and was there for her til the very end. Although, I really did not have the opportunity that Vic had with you to get to really know my mom and her to really know me as a daughter or a person. Please don’t be too hard on yourself by not thinking about how wonderful you made Vic’s life these past years and months that she and all of you had to endure what she was facing. Take all that hurt you may be feeling and turn it into love of all the great moments you shared together good or bad. You all shared a lot! I will pray for you to get through this. I have never seen you look so sad and angry as I have in your recent pics. Please try to know and believe that Vic will always be with you all in your hearts forever. I will pray for your strength and you to see all the love you have given to Vic especially when she needed it the most.
I can only wish I had the chance that most people had to know REALLY know their parents. You have been blessed! Remember that. Much love and wish of peace for you and your family as well as Vic. You will get through this.
Thank you Cheryl. I think the mother-daughter relationship is the most precious, special relationship ever. I am so sorry you were deprived of this wonderful privilege. I am angry and very sad. I sometimes wonder if I will ever be happy again.
I understand. You will be happy again, it takes time. Stay strong.
You are so organized, Vic will be pleased. I beleive it is so grand that she was able to plan her own memorial.
It was so brave!!! She even reminded me to not forget the Death Notice to be published in the newspapers!
What beautiful flowers for such a beautiful woman. I’m sending my love and warm thoughts. You’re all so strong.
I have been to so many funerals in my life before – and yet Vicky’s funeral was an event that will stand out in my life for time to come. We arrived early – I wanted to be early – and Martin went to ensure that Mike and Nina once again did a splendid ob with everything. My Little One was in a beautiful dark wood casket – surrounded by candles and white flowers – the roses especially had a huge impact on me – as i knew that she loved roses so much. The pain and sorrow throughout the service felt somewhat unbearable – however needed – and i felt that my darling friend would have been very happy with her send off ! She is at rest now – and we need to pray daily – for us to meet up with her again – soon !!! Love you for ever Vicky !
Thank you Katie.
I’m glad Vic helped plan. I would wish to also. And then you, her mother, would know it was just how she wished it to be.
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