So I got there on Tuesday, while the funeral director was there, which was just as well, because there was quite a bit of stuff the boys didn't know. She'd told me, and she'd told my cousin Marion, who arrived the next day.
Nigel was drinking two bottles of wine every night, which went exceptionally well with his anti-depressants. Warwick avoided the house completely, and Greg only dropped in (from being over at Warwick's) to get pissed off and bitch at people. Marion and I organised her funeral, sorted through some of her things and marvelled over the little gems we kept finding, and talked. We were women, basically.
Mum's funeral was lovely. I'll write something up for PA about that kind of thing, but I'll try to keep that free of The Bitching.
And then I came home, the day after the funeral. And it was like a very heavy rock dropped on me very slowly. I can't keep track of time, I keep finding I've just stopped. I have a stack of thank you cards here to write, and that column, and I need to check in at BW, and all I can really do is sit around going through stuff, reading, watching old episodes of The West Wing. I keep getting the music from Mum's funeral stuck in my head. I'm trying to pick up the threads of my life after having been away so much in the last month, but... I'm just not there yet. Now that I'm home, I can grieve. Not cry, of course, there's just this huge heavy blankness.
Anyway, I'd mentioned on Twitter a letter to the editor my mother wrote that I'd found in a bag full of Drama League stuff, so here it is. Any mistakes will be due to my touch-typing skills.
While I respect the Associate Health Minister's willingness to live on a beneficiary's income for one week, I feel that in such a short period she will fail utterly to capture the real essence of the situation.
With a fully-equipped home and a well-stocked freeer, most of us would manage to coast along for a week with almost no expenditure. But what about the next week? And the one after? And next month when the insurance is due? And two of the kids have birthdays?*
It is the ongoing and ever-present restrictions and economies that really quell the spirit. Even if we have the budget under control, the dread of the unexpected expense hovers like a threatening cloud.
What if the old washing machine breaks down? Or the element goes in the oven? Supposing Johnny has to go back to the doctor, or Jenny breaks her glasses. The last straw could be the parking fine incurred while waiting to be served in the Opportunity Shop. The queues there are so long these days.
*Februrary. Me and Nigel.