Thursday 19 January 2017


When I last wrote I was designing the order of service for mum's funeral. It was with some luck that she had told me her favourite hymns, tunes, songs for the choir and organ and best readings, long before she became ill. Her vicar, Rev Dave Wills, knew her well and we had a choir for mum's funeral service.The personal tributes to mum were warm and the service was, if not happy, very personal and meaningful.

The tributes we received ran to many sides of A4 and the cards, donations and support were received with heartfelt thanks. My oldest schoolfriend was an absolute brick. We had to travel to the Midlands several times before and after the funeral and we are going again this weekend for the memorial service. My friend has been so supportive throughout.

It's been a shock to me, therefore, that some so-called friends have absolutely no idea how I'm feeling, my schoolfriend does, but I have received some very self-centred comments from a couple of people I know, but now don't wish to know from hereon in. Aswell as dealing with funeral directors, family's thoughts and wishes, order of service, eulogy, flowers, donations, caterers and the funeral party I succumbed to an infection which needed three doses of antibiotics. I hardly slept for about seven weeks. My GP told me it was the shock of mum's death that had weakened my immune system. I have done as they advised - stayed in, stayed warm and hydrated, got a great deal of rest and built up my immunity by eating nutritious foods. I don't have a bad diet and during all of this illness and bereavement I was told my blood sugar, blood pressure and pulse were good.

 I explained I
wasn't exercising much as I was supposed to be resting. I take paracetamol when I need to and stay off caffeine, spicy and acidic foods.

Throughout the ten weeks since mum died I found the strain something I could endure, like anyone else in a similar position, and I managed. Until, that is, I received these remarks from people who seemed hell-bent on ignoring my needs (simply ignoring me would have been good.) I cannot understand why someone recently bereaved and on medication needs to receive unkind texts. It has made me feel really quite dismissive of them. If people can't be at least understanding they should remain quiet  -  and they are not worthy of being thought of as friends. It's quite easy to defriend someone on facebook but less easy in the real world.

Since these comments two other people I know have been bereaved and I've not noticed they have  complaints about receiving nasty remarks from people they know.

My true friends have been kind and understanding. They have advised me to keep my distance from those who are clearly so unhappy they can't even support me at a time of bereavement. I've had lunch out three times this week with good people. When my father died - back in 1993 - one of the churchwardens said to mum that she should spend time with people who make her feel good. This was excellent advice. I certainly don't intend to spend my time with self-centred miseries. I was quite upset at their unhelpful remarks but now I see it as a liberation. I don't need to spend any time on them and life is too short.

Be with people who make you feel good - that is the best advice. 2017 is a new year. Time to cut the cord. It's mum's memorial service on Sunday and ten weeks since she died. She would never have been so unkind as to make unpleasant comments after someone had been bereaved. That's a fitting memorial to her.  I've learned a lot about people since her death.
My next post will be much lighter as the full manuscript for my novel is being delivered to my editor. 
Hard work has its own reward. 
Happy new year - if it isn't a tad late in January for such sentiments!