Small’s dream and spooky goings on….


Sorry it’s been a while, life has been busy with yet even more stuff that you really just couldn’t make up, sigh. More about the present day later but for now it’s back to thought train and what happened in the aftermath back then.

Woken one morning shortly after the farcical funeral by the Small person climbing into bed. Arms wrap tightly round me and she proceeds to tell me about an amazing dream….

” I had a dream last night Mummy that made it all better. You know I said that I was sad that I didn’t get to say goodbye to Daddy on that morning, the morning he died, that morning, you remember (erm yes, will never forget it, retina’s still suffering) well he came to see me last night. He came into our room and gave me a really big hug and I said goodbye so it’s all okay now. He smiled and looked like normal Daddy, you know, Daddy with no cancer. It’s all okay now, I feel happy again, he’s okay”.

Hug her tightly and smile.

Now, not one to really believe too much in mystic’s and fortune tellers and angels and all that stuff but weird things have happened. Toilet blockage over the summer caused by a child who think’s that it’s really necessary to use at least half a roll at a time and then not flush the blessed thing. After much searching in various cupboards it appeared that the plunger had done one so, in her infinite wisdom, small person helpfully finds video on YouTube” of how to unblock a toilet. “See Mummy, everything you ever need to know is on here”, eye’s roll but dutifully get washing up liquid and boil kettle as instructed by some strange rotund man on said video. Half a bottle of fairy later and several kettles of boiling water and we’ve achieved nothing other than a very foamy but clean blocked toilet, sides are gleaming.

Video number two, no pun intended, has another quite large man shoving a bit of old hose down it. This looks a far more sensible idea so I give that a go with small person hanging over my shoulder and having the cheek to utter lot’s of “that’s gross, yuck, I need a wee”. Check time, it’s now gone 6pm so pour a magic stress busting drink and explain that as much as it’s gross it’s her fault so really I should shove her arm down it instead. Hasty retreat beaten and left in peace to try poking some more. Half an hour later and no progress made. Loosing will to live myself now so pile into car and pop to local DIY shop to purchase plunger. £1.50 and two hefty plunges and the job is done, vow never to follow any instructions off of YouTube again and stick to tried and trusted methods. Now, none of this is spooky, but about a week later we go out for the day, it’s the summer holidays so we can’t have the highlight being a blocked toilet. Get home and go to kitchen to think about dinner of some sorts and there, in the middle of the floor, bang slap in the middle, is a bottle of bleach. Aware of inclination to ditsyness but know this is not something purchased by self. This is posh bleach too, expensive all singing and dancing brand name bleach, the stuff that claims to pretty much change your entire life with it’s amazingness. I buy cheap own brand, I like the colour of the bottle, it works fine. Ask small person if she’s seen it before to which she says no and that it wasn’t there this morning as she went out to get her water bottle before we left. Kitchen is small so would have been tripped over and been my fault as usual. Check back through shopping receipts and it’s not on any, keep all of them, check again. Call parents as only others with keys, it’s not them, they’d have done the washing up left on side. Think about changing locks but that seems a bit extreme, decide to wait and see if any other “present’s” turn up but deadlock door from inside.

Stick posh bleach in bathroom and make a start on dinner. Small person call’s out to me, “Mummy, I think that was a present from Daddy you know. Remember I told you he came back once at night to give me a hug, well I think he’s been back today and left us that to help keep the toilet unblocked”…………….


In the news in Canada….

An amazing article written by a friend I’ve know since about 13 years old #susiecavill and many thanks to her mentioning both my blog and some quotes as to how I’ve dealt with and explained things.
Another strong eloquent lady and lovely friend since secondary school. (No, there we no dinosaurs roaming the earth back then as much as my 8 year old tells me!)

Collecting him

Two weeks pass, not many tears from Small but lot’s of I miss Daddy, very cuddly period but also very happy period. Home continues change, old ridiculously large bed goes and replaced with lovely brass Victorian one from parents, bedroom has space and toe no longer gets stubbed when trying to walk round. Amazing friends continue to support and prop us up in ways so kind. School Mummies give us gift card for John Lewis with incredible value, I cry at how kind people are, feel overwhelmed. Small and I choose new bed linen, girlie bed linen, it has flowers on and birds, it’s pink and turquoise and pretty and feels like some big loving hug. She selects Shopkins ice cream truck set as it’s for her too. New curtains get added, bedroom transformed. Mummy, it’s looking so nice, I love coming home from school to see what you’ve done next, it’s so much better. Bless.

Pat self on back, we manage her 8th birthday gathering with her favourite friends at local Pizza Restaurant. Have lunch out with sister, playdates at friends houses. Half term is fun and free , we have girlie shopping trips, endure weird film about trolls who fart glitter at the cinema. We go out when we want, get home when we want, eat out, stay out. Becoming naughty dirty stop outs. Small is happy though, she’s a different child, a more carefree one at last. We giggle at eating McDonalds knowing nobody will moan. We miss him but we’re living a normal life for once.

Half term passes and Small goes back to school. Think of him and realise that ashes have not been collected. Have weird urge that must get them NOW, he needs to be home again. Stuff on shoes, brush hair and drive to crematorium. Know exactly where I’m going but not prepared for road closure leading in. Panic, plug in satnav on phone to find alternative route, there is non. Drive back and round roundabout twice, there’s no going back, I have to have him. Watch as other driver ignores closure sign and makes illegal turn to drive down required road. Drive round roundabout again and make same illegal turn. Get round first corner and policeman pop’s out from behind hedge. Bollocks, just my luck. Explain only following what other driver did and actually collecting dead partners ashes, conveniently burst into tears. Nice policeman takes sympathy and explains bad bad accident has happened at entrance to crematorium and air ambulance on scene. Stupid mouth opens and exclaims “off all the places to crash”. Thankfully am let through, policeman radios ahead explaining predicament. Pass badly mangled car and make it to car park, air ambulance landing in park next door, all very surreal. More ceremonies in process, watch other people with strange sense of detachment, ponder why heels are so popular when most females resemble staggering baby giraffes in them. Got the leopard DM’s on again. Wait respectfully for service to start, smoke to pass time and think about ash, wonder if all ask is grey or if a body is a sort of paler version, study cigarette.

Nothing is really simple to find, no signs saying something helpful like “collect them here” so ask random gardener, he has no clue either. Wander around like a lost soul and finally find small office and request him, pass over form’s required and wait. Several minutes later asked to wait some more as they can’t find him at the moment. Really, not again, how many times can a dead person go missing, have urge to laugh hysterically but instead find eye’s welling up. Remind self that todays mascara is not waterproof so must stop immediately. Twiddle thumbs and feel even more tearful.

After what seems like 6 days a large hessian shopping type bag is placed on counter, like some strange bag for life thing only it’s got some weird logo for the crematorium on. Do crematoriums really need to advertise? It’s a handy size for a shop but decide it might not be the best idea. Inside is large maroon plastic urn with a bit of paper sellotaped to top stating contents. Sign for it.

No way prepared for sheer weight of content’s, man was always overweight even in sickness but by heck is it heavy. Wonder if bag handles up to it. Stagger back to car either swapping arms or holding with both and dump it in foot well. Sit back and take deep breath’s. Check lid is secure as don’t want him spilling even though car is such a mess nobody would probably notice. Resist urge to look inside, feel rather sick. There is a dead burnt body in my car, inside a large plastic urn there are eyes, arms, legs, oh my god there’s even a penis. There’s also a tumour, probably a few, all burnt to hell, that served them right, they can’t keep growing now.

Drive home carefully, he keep’s falling over at every turn and roundabout, give up and let him roll about. Drag bag up the stairs and put where chair used to be. Tears arrive again so visit kitchen and pray there’s something made from grapes or apples in the fridge. Thankfully there is, pour one and go and sit beside him. Silent tears stream as the realisation that he is actually never ever going to be with us again hits hard. Knock drink back and pour another.

Have to look, inside he’s in a plastic bag, neatly sealed. The ash is just that, just grey ash, he could be sweepings from a log burner, cigarette ash, the dusty bit’s left from a BBQ, ash is obviously just ash. Think again of eye balls and legs and put lid back on in a hurry, knock it over and thank god it’s in a sealed bag.

7 months on and he’s still here in his pot. We talk to him sometimes. We know where we want to take him, we know where he’d like to be. The Hillbilly’s have other ideas, weird ideas of somewhere that he’d never even been to let alone want to spend eternity in. We’ve got him though so we’ll take him when we’re ready to the place he was happiest, the place we spent so much time together as a 3, the place that held his heart.

After all, if they don’t like it I can always empty a BBQ……………….




Readers From Afar and Memory Books

Curious day today, thank you to all those in the United Arab Emirates who’ve been reading………….why though have none of you followed? Who are you? Get in touch?

Small bought home a memory book today, made good reading, not hard. Wondering if that is really how she think’s I look, check mirror and no, hair is not quite that bad even with the continual rain of today. Thinking of the school singing thing last week about building an ark, seems quite appropriate but then remember that one aged hamster, one grumpy parrot and one soggy doggy won’t be enough to float that boat. Think of Daddy, he didn’t have black eyes but did look quite gaunt so guess it’s an accurate depiction……”ish”. She’s proud of it, we stuff it in the memory box with a hug, it’s safe there and won’t get lost under the numerous piles of toys. Proud of my girl.


Strangers and Other Family Members

Arrive at posh golf club for wake. Small is quite cheery now, maybe the thought of sandwiches and cake did help after all and of course the ludicrous amount of Haribo’s that have now been consumed. Complicated conversations about what exactly happens to Daddy and his box and can Daddy see us still now fudged round without exactly lying, lots of pointing at things out of window to distract, look there’s a pretty tree…………

Thankfully parents arrive at same time, Small person is off to find the food, hit the bar area, drink required. Look around at sea of faces, see mainly two faced ones with the odd exception, decide that if I can’t be kind then I’d better be vague, swig cider and prepare for monotonous chat.

So sorry for your loss, if there’s anything we can do just ask. Like a cracked record this repeats over and over, remember to smile sweetly and not roll eyes. Know that most are not genuine, people will go straight back to ordinary lives and not give slightest toss. Free food and drink is what it’s all about along with day off work.

How are you, are you looking after yourself in this difficult time. Another stupid statement, begin to ponder level’s of evolution and conclude some people really ought to reside in a zoo. Resist urge for sarcastic response, bite tongue and smile and nod. Swig cider and grab some food from buffet to prove can still manage eating so therefore looking after self.

Seek out Small person, she’s having a blast. Playing hide and seek with Nanny and Granddad, lot’s of giggling going on and running about. Love seeing her smile and laugh, heart cannot be heavy when she’s about, smile to self.

Two hours pass, track down Head Hillbilly sitting at table eating. Like some sort of king, awaiting the minions to go to him although most seem to be at bar area and enough food left to feed starving children in Africa. Roll eyes as did say he didn’t need that much. Think of Henry VIII as chicken bone is chewed, nothing good came of him either, another arrogant person. Introduced to endless round of further Hillybilly’s, most of which never heard of before. Wonder if possibility of actual inbreeding as so many.

Bored now and tired, patience running at serious low levels and crapometer squealing enough. Making pointless conversation with individuals all vying for who knew him best, who knew him longest. Point out sarcastically that as such good friends was so kind of them to visit him so often. Stunned silence as only one ever did. Ask for no further late night drunk calls wailing their loss as seriously do not need it, it’s not helpful and not qualified to be a counsellor for others guilt.

Collect platter of grub to take home, shame to waste quite so much and actually quite tasty. Say polite goodbyes and explain Small is tired and needs home now. Small is actually getting bored, only so many places to play hide and seek and too many weird random strange people wanting to ask if she’s alright. She’s half left too, this is not got by most, sure now that several do actually have to return to zoo later and perhaps evolution is not equal to all.

Thank parents for playing and supporting, they also are glad to leave as are not exactly members of the Hillybilly fan club either.

Home feels very different, lighter, brighter and strangely happier. New carpet and wooden floor help massively but atmosphere also changed. No longer have to be quiet, no longer have to tread on egg shells on bad days, no longer have to explain that we can’t have friends over because Daddy is poorly, no longer having someone ring every 10 minutes when out.

Small tucks into platter of food, turns on TV and zones out. Pour large wine and look out at church opposite. Silently tell him that we did it, we got through it, apologise for playing of ridiculous song and make no brainer promise to look after Small.

Smile and experience overwhelming feeling of freedom. Don’t look back, think about endless possibilities and chance to lead life resembling some sort of normal, less worrying, less restricted. Raise glass towards church and give him a wink.

The Farcical Funeral part 2

Funeral day arrives, alarm clock goes off, normal morning activities resume. Small person has decided that she’d “quite” like to go to school for morning as she want’s to see her friends so next hour or so is spent finding shoes, ties, drinking luke warm tea and general nagging to GET READY. Nagging turns into crescendo as patience running on low and stress levels running at warp speed 6 million. Rein self in as remember today is going to be possibly the hardest thing small will have had to deal with in all 8 exhausting years. But, at the same time, cannot understand how it can take so long to brush teeth when half have fallen out and how random shoe always seems to vanish in now, back to being cluttered, hallway. Sigh.

Drive small to school and dash home to try and make pigs ear of face into a silk purse. Face decides it’s not having it and try to remind self that there’s more to life than cheek bones and eyelashes, remember waterproof mascara.

Having almost reached cartoon character levels of wearing same jeans every day it’s very weird to wriggle into dress, black dress. Thank dead person for causing enough stress and upset for stomach to be flat enough to be able to wear said dress. Check time and realise morning has flown by so dash off to collect small. School receptionist comments on my leopard print DM’s which look odd with dress the be fair but are what small want’s me to wear as she has matching pair and used to be her “thing” with Daddy who always bought her a pair each autumn. Leopard print obsession passed genetically from me to her I think along with love of all things furry.

Get home, she changes without so much as a single grumble and tells me I look nice and not “too old” today, better for putting makeup on, can’t have gone as badly as thought then. Smile sweetly, sob inwardly and retreat to kitchen, feel a small wine is required and sun is over yard arm. Surprised have managed to wait this long and think perhaps should have accepted offer of lift.

Five minutes to one o’clock. Find nice black cape thing and mentally rename it “super cape” as I’m going to need some serious bloody super powers to get through what lies ahead. Pull on black leather gloves with flair, like I’m about to strangle someone, am sure will be countless there I’d like to especially the mental father of the deceased. It all flashes before eyes, a vision of mostly being a montage of avoiding people.

Several cars in church car park including dreaded hearse. Small burst’s into tears at idea of Daddy in a box, point out to her that it’s a nice box and not the cardboard version that got discussed, offer hugs and Haribo’s. She say’s she doesn’t want to be right behind, me either, so we wave others off and start long slow 15 mile trip to crematorium.

All feels very surreal, reality hit’s home. He actually is dead, not in hospital, not off for chemotherapy but dead. Feel so sad for small person, even though he never did much with her he was still her Daddy, cannot imagine life without mine. Bite lip and resolve to keep strong. We play eye spy and chat about school. See his father is not driving today, has got lift with some random Hillbilly cousin person never heard of before so breath sigh of relief for all other road users in area. Glad car is small and didn’t have to have them in mine. Sun shines, we arrive.

Thankfully parents are there so small instantly cheers up. Bladder is urging a visit so nip inside to take a few deep and well needed breaths too. There’s a fish tank, really? Remind self that I need to make dental appointment, pinch self to make sure this is not a dream.

Now for first moment of inappropriate hilarity provided by head Hillbilly. Several “mates” and family members want to carry coffin, HH (head Hillbilly as I will now refer to the father) issues HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS. I know that the “family business” was earthmoving and the deceased used to wear one most of the time but as a pall bearer, in bright day glo orange with reflective stripes? Really. Sigh and roll eyes. Thankfully HH has purchased brand new versions so not oil stained and greasy. All men look strong so hope coffin makes it in and nobody drops it as by now nothing would now surprise.

Take seat and tuck small person under arm to hug. Have tried to explain that funerals are supposed to be a “celebration” of a persons life, what guff, I cry at ones on TV of people that are fictional so now tell small that it’s okay to cry as it will be sad but there’s nice sandwiches afterwards. Because a nice sandwich will solve everything, not. Mention cake too, this is pointless as well.

Lovely registrar lady gives a wink and nod and mouths “ok?”, wink back and feel eye’s watering already, darn, thank god I used waterproof mascara this morning. Service starts, tune out and focus on anything but. Small listens intently and tiny tears roll, hug her tightly and whisper joke in ear.

At planning of service we all agreed that not up to doing reading or anything so muchly surprised when HH get’s up. Feel eye’s crossing in dread, good move though as pushes tears to sensible area to wipe. Zone out again and let HH drone on, remind self that HH has to always feel very self important and that today is more about him than his son as that’s how HH leads life at best of times. HH does what HH want’s regardless of any other human being, plant matter or vegetable, which is the sort of state I’m now in. Cuddle small person some more.

“And now for a special song” – What? What song? There was no other song agreed. Everyone sat stunned as “If I had a bulldozer” by Heywood Banks was played. Look round and see others staring as if to say “what the actual ****”. Heywood Banks also has a song called Trauma to the Groin, wish I’d known it at the time as thinking would be quite apt to meter out. Song fit’s in with service about as comfortably as square pegs and round holes. Look at HH, he looks smug and self content, think of merchant bankers and fume.

Thankfully rest of service passes quickly and it’s finally time to leave, “Always look on the bright side of life” starts to play, still having vision’s of groin trauma to HH and wishing I’d smuggled some brandy in but he lets me and small leave first and, as we do, we both do one of those little side kicks in our leopard boots, start to whistle quietly and I hold her hand just that tiny bit tighter.

We’re officially team us now, just me and my girl. “I got you babe” play’s in my head and I know we’ll be okay.