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.
“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.