Back from Minehead

I’ve been feeling a bit devoid of words recently. Tears and grief and talking too much to too many people and putting on a brave face seem to do that, along with two of the most hectic and emotionally busy weeks I’ve had in a long time. All of the above is also knackering. I don’t know when I’ve ever slept this much!

We just drove home from Minehead. We went up on Monday afternoon, and yesterday was the funeral. It was good to be there, although I have to admit when it got a bit god-y I glazed over a bit. But the hymns were awesome, religious singing always makes me cry, especially when the organ kicks in. I think my favourite part was when the family had a chance to speak. Me and Cora got up to say a little piece together, and so did our cousin; but it was Judith and my Uncle Chris who were really wonderful and who made me cry. Chris read two little pieces, one of them was a poem called The Dash, and it seemed so appropriate not only to Grandad but to Ella and Brandon also, and it was lovely and sad to have it all rolled into one. Judith read about her childhood memories, and about Grandad’s baking and his magic tricks, and how when he performed he became larger than life. That of course set everyone off, but it would probably be how he would want to be remembered. I don’t think we have a video of him performing, but he loved it and was really good. Who know being a magician could be a career? I miss him.

I also read a little poem my friend Dirk in Montreal sent me, when I read it at the kitchen table here in Bristol we all started to cry. Judith couldn’t read it without crying every time, so I said I’d do it in the church, although on the day I cried too, and I could hear my voice echoing out over everyone wavering and cracked. It feels good to have done it, even though it was sad and tough. Here is the poem, and here is a photo of him and a younger cuter me.

When God saw that the way was too long,
The slope too steep,
Breathing too hard,
He took his arm around you and spoke:
“Come home. Rest in peace”

Maya and Grandad Roy

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“everything is a bit fast moving”

I wrote this yesterday, and the title sums up the past few days really, I didn’t mean to leave it so long before posting.

I wrote a post yesterday about the funeral. But I usually sit on them for a few hours, sometimes a day, just to make sure they’re ok before I post. Today, I feel differently about it. Grieving is so weird. Plus, I don’t really know who I’m grieving for half the time. Grandad? Ella? Brandon? It’s a muddle in my head.

Yesterday I was buoyed up by how beautiful the funeral was. Today I feel flat. Little things are just a bit much. Judith said “well, I guess everything is a bit fast moving” which is right. I want to put time on hold for a little while. Not have to worry about things like deadlines for uni, or booking train tickets, or talking to too many people, or showering (gross, I know). Instead I want to go out for a ride on Max and gallop till the tears stream from my eyes. Or cycle till my legs shake when I get off. Or sit around in my pyjamas and bake. Or head out to Exmoor and trudge up to Dunkery beacon, where the wind blows so strongly you can’t hear a word.

Instead, I will focus on something else Judith said today. She told me a story about when we were younger, we camped in a valley where we had to carry all our stuff in. On the way back out the next day, Cora was struggling with her bag, crying and grumbling. Judith offered to carry it, and Cora said “NO, I want to do this by myself.” And then focused on one step at a time, all the way to the top. That is what I’m focusing on. One step at a time.

So as not to end on such a down note, here’s something fun that happened today. Me and Nigel drove across Bristol to look at a new car (hurrah! Heating in a car? Novel idea!) and as we were complaining about being stuck in city traffic, probably 200 motorcycles came driving past us, but all the drivers were dressed up as Father Christmas. White beards, red and white coats, tinsel on the bikes, lights, antlers, side-cars with baby father Christmases, fairies, it was awesome!

XxX