If there’s one thing I hate about being a grown up it’s having to make decisions. I don’t mean decision like what to have for breakfast or should I buy that handbag (duh, yes!). I mean decisions that affect other people, namely the little people. (No I’m not living with The Borrowers. I mean the kids.)
When Auntie B died A was really upset that we wouldn’t allow her and T to attend the funeral. It was K that really didn’t want them to attend and I understood his reasons – we knew from attending Uncle Howells funeral the year before that there would be lots of tears, possibly more as we had not had any warning of Auntie B’s death whereas Uncle Howell had been poorly for some time. Also, it was a sad time for my dad and we didn’t want the children to be upset by him being upset (if you get my drift), My kids both idolise my dad and would hate to see him upset.
So, when K’s Nan died we knew we would face the same question from the children. After much deliberation we agreed that as she had been poorly for some time and we had prepared them for the worst outcome that it was important for them to be able to say goodbye properly. Their cousins had decided to attend (although the youngest is a couple of years older than T so they are old enough to decide for themselves) and so we thought that would be a good thing. But even now on the eve of the funeral I am still having that little nagging doubt as to whether we are doing the right thing.
We know our children inside out and I think that T will probably be fine. He’s very laid back and is quite practical about things so I don’t think he will be too fazed by it. We have spoken to them both at length about what will happen, where we will be sitting, that the coffin will be there, that people may shed a few tears, etc etc, the list goes on. But I am still a little anxious about A. She is very sensitive and thinks about stuff – A LOT. She was asking me this morning about what happens at the burial (K and I both agreed that there was no way we would let them attend the graveside part of the service) and I have to say I was a little flummoxed. I have never been to a burial so can only go on what I’ve seen on TV. I gave her the basic gist and said I would answer any other questions she had once it had taken place. I know it’s good that she’s asking, I’m glad I can prepare her as much as possible, but I’m still worried.
My mum and dad had kindly offered to come with us – they liked K’s Nan very much and would have attended anyway – so that they can offer support to the children while we attend the burial. (As it turns out Dad is not well and won’t be able to come.) So at least she will have grandma to look after her, but I am going to feel so awful if I have to leave her upset and go.
I guess only time will tell. They are writing notes tonight to tie to a rose that they can place on the coffin. K’s dad and siblings will have one colour rose to place, the grandchildren another colour, and the great-grandchildren another. Which is a lovely idea. A has also written her a letter. I hope that they see the day as a celebration of Nan’s life and that it can be a positive experience.