I am back in Oz. I did not want to miss a full week of work waiting around for another funeral. My uncle passed away about 12 hours after we arrived in the UK. My aunt decided to contain it, and she started telling the family after midnight and the wee hours of the morning of Friday. She said he woke up, and he was in a lot of pain. She encouraged him to go back to sleep until his next dose of Morphine. She told him she loved him and promised to take a nap with him. When she woke up about 5:30 PM, he was gone. The funeral is tentatively set for 26th October.
We left late Saturday night, and we arrived home about four hours ago. My daughter is at school. My son is at the nursery. Matt is at work. We are carrying on as normal. Our children are staying with Nanny J for this second trip. We are seasoned travellers, and we can handle it. Matt and I are leaving late Friday afternoon, and we will be arriving in London Friday morning. After the funeral, we are flying to Nice. My best friend's vow renewal and reception are that evening. We will be flying out a bit before midnight, and we will make it home around 5-6 AM on Monday morning. I realise a turnaround trip will be a lot of wear and tear on my body, but I need a distraction from all the sadness. For me, that is work and normalcy, and I did not want my daughter to miss that much school.
My great aunt's funeral was a beautiful celebration. I have never been too a church with so much spirit. I shed a few tears, but the focus was on celebrating her life. I have never been to a service where the casket was placed by the door, and the viewing took place during the recessional. The ushers started from the last pew and worked their way up, so that the immediately family were the last ones to view her. The funeral director gave them as much time as they needed. Her grandchildren and sons were the pallbearers. Right before they lowered her, her daughter and grandchildren asked if they could open it again, so they could kiss her good-bye. She looked peaceful. She and my uncle were married for 44 years. I cannot picture him without her, and I hope that he, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will rely upon one another for strength.
The most beautiful thing happened. I was visiting with my great-grandmother at her grave (talking to the stone and not worried about anyone but her), and my daughter walked over to me by herself. I started to introduce her, and she stopped me. She said, "No need, mummy. We have already met."
was my face. My great-grandmother passed away a couple of weeks before she was born, so when she said she had already met her, I was too stunned to say anything. She just hugged me, held my hand, and sat beside me. We were both being quiet, and she said, "She wants you to know she loves you, too. She also said do not cry for her." I was thinking about how much I loved her, and I was crying. I said, "Who?" She called my great-grandmother by the special name I called her privately. I have never called her that in front of my daughter. I was like, "Oooo-kay." (A little freaked out.) She said, "She is here with us right now. Do you feel her?" At that moment, for the first time since we had been there, the wind blew and the sky cleared up in one spot. The rays of the sun were shining through the clouds. I told my daughter that I definitely felt her presence when I found her and in that moment. That was where I was supposed to be, and she made sure I knew it. I have never felt that calmness before. I am glad I was able to share it with my daughter.