This is a pretty tricky post to write but actually a post that I think will hopefully be quite useful. Recently we lost a truly wonderful woman, my boyfriends nan. As is traditional when a death occurs, we had a funeral to attend. Now don’t get me wrong, of course my main focus of the event was saying our final goodbyes and being there for my boyfriend. Having said that, I didn’t want to be out of place and I had a few questions.
I have been to my fair share of funerals, having lost quite a few family members when I was young, however the last funeral I went to I was still in school so it was all a little different. This was my first funeral as an adult, my first funeral for a non family member and my first funeral where someone else’s grief felt more important than mine. I spent a lot of time googling what to wear from my outfit to my make up, to how to behave and what to do. I know that it is expected for people to wear black to mourn, however I am firmly in the party of not wanting everyone in black when it comes to my own funeral. I think I have made this pretty clear to those who I love that when it’s my turn I want every single person in the room to represent my favourite colour, pink, in one way or another. That aside, despite ‘black’ what do I actually wear?
I looked through my wardrobe and nothing that I had was appropriate, too short, to revealing, too much. I decided to buy something new and started looking online. I have to say it was a tricky task to find a dress that was appropriate. I ended up settling for a black dress from Misguided with cold shoulder details and a frill from the choker neckline down around the shoulders. It was long sleeved and came just above my knee, not too short but still something that I can wear again. I wore it was black court shoes and a nude clutch bag. I would have used a black bag but I only have two, a full fur clutch or one with a lot of gold detailing and it felt a little show-y for the occasion.
I kept my make up minimal – foundation, eyebrows, nude lipstick, light blush and only put mascara on my top lashes so to be practical. I’m glad I did because I did cry, a lot. I decided to curl my hair and do a half up, half down style. I did this mostly to give myself something to do in the morning. I’m not the best at filling time when the event is later in the day and I didn’t fancy sitting around and thinking about it too much or else I knew I’d be re-doing my make up before I had even left the house!
We drove to my partners Nan’s house where we were picked up in the funeral cars and driven to the church. It’s also worth noting that this is my first church funeral, and not being particularly religious myself, I was a little apprehensive. I held my boyfriends and and we walked in after the coffin along with the rest of his family. We sat down at the front and we both did our best to get through it. Every time I looked over and saw another family member in pieces, it broke me down again. Whilst I’m aware that their grief was different to mine, I did feel a huge sense of loss at saying goodbye to a woman who I may have only known for a few years but was not only a part of my life but also meant ever so much to my boyfriend.
After the church ceremony we got back in the cars and went to the cemetery where she was buried next to her late husband. Something that I had personally never experienced at a burial was the chance for everyone present to say their final goodbye and throw some of the soil into the grave. My boyfriend and his cousins also had a flower each to throw into her grave as they said goodbye. One positive from the burial was when my boyfriends granddad came over to me and mentioned what lovely legs I had! Although not necessarily the best timing and a slightly awkward experience, I had to appreciate the compliment!
We got back into the cars for the final time and we headed to the golf club where her wake was to be held. From then it wasn’t so bad, everyone had a drink and relaxed and little bit and conversation was flowing. Despite the somber occasion, everyone had a lovely time and the arrival of some of the cousins babies definitely lightened the mood. All in all, whilst it wasn’t a day that I had been looking forward to, it was a beautiful send off and a lovely goodbye and I really needn’t have been so stressed.