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The bit in between (waiting for the funeral) 😞

(43 Posts)
morethan2 Fri 24-Jul-20 18:29:39

A lot of you will know my DiL died recently. The funeral has been arranged. So we are all at that horrible stage of dread. We know it has to be done but it’s an truly horrible anxiety period of waiting. As well as bursting into tears and the horrible sadness I’m getting really anxious. We know and understand that numbers will be limited inside but people can line the route and stand outside. There’s a wake after the service and the venue can accommodate a lot of people with social distancing for those who feel strongly about complying. Some are coming from 200 miles away. My relatives are travelling and will have to stay three days.many will be in hotels but obviously there’ll be lot of ‘gatherings’ probably at my house I would normally feel a little anxious about feeding and occupying relatives but now I’m getting into a real state about it. Im tired and emotionally drained. Im also worried about those who want to social distance. It’ll be near impossible, what with three young children who’ll run to much loved relatives for comfort. To make matters worse my oldest grandson(23) is insisting (he’s already bought the ticket) on coming by train. He’s autistic and will have a long train journey and have to manage the underground by himself. He’s never done that before. I don’t know what to worry about the most. I’m starting to feel completely overwhelmed and with a feeling of absolute dread.
The other thing is I’m not sure about going to see my DiL in the chapel of rest. At first I said no. I spent a lot of time with my DiL before she went to the hospice. We became very close but my memory is of her in such distress that maybe if I saw her at peace it might help. It’s such a difficult decision. Oh dear sad

Luckygirl Fri 24-Jul-20 18:56:55

Gosh morethan what a whole raft of difficult things to confront at such a sad time. No wonder you feel in turmoil. I really do feel for you.

Is there some way you can break all this down in your mind and tackle one thing at a time?

The decision about going to see your DIL in the chapel of rest is very personal. Everyone feels differently about it. Hopefully her distress was properly alleviated once she was in the hospice, but that is a difficult last memory for you to take forward with you. I chose not to see my OH in the chapel after he died in February. I was with him immediately after he died and I felt relief that his suffering was over. It may be that seeing her will help you. Is there someone who might go with you?

On the issue of social distancing in your home, maybe you could take your own decision about what you want people to do and set some sort of "house rules" so that everyone is clear and not in two minds as to what to do. Maybe there could be a little notice by the door asking people to observe social distancing in whatever way you choose: e.g. by keeping to the garden as much as possible perhaps - and leaving hand gel available for people. At least they would then be able to adhere to your wishes without you having to keep saying what you want them to do or not do. It would avoid any confusion.

Please do not feel you have to "occupy" the relatives - let them chat amongst themselves; and you be where you want to be and do what feels right for you. Do not even ask yourself to play the perfect hostess at this time. And as to feeding - well just have nibbles around - ones that you can pull out of a packet and plonk on a plate - do not feel you have to invite people for full meals.

I suspect that it will all be easier when it is happening - sometimes anticipating things can be harder than the actual events themselves.

Please try not to worry about your GS - I know it is hard not to feel protective of someone with his difficulties, but you really cannot take everything on your shoulders.

This period between the death and the funeral is hard - we had an 18 day wait with my OH and I found that very trying - I just wanted it over with, as I felt that I had said my goodbyes and it is hard being in public at such a time. TBH the funeral drifted by me - I was in a bit of a daze. I know you will find it hard, and there is no help for that - sadly it is just something that has to be got through.

My strongest advice would be to look after yourself and not feel obligations to others - I am guessing that people will not expect too much of you, so it is important not to expect too much of yourself. Take care flowers

fevertree Fri 24-Jul-20 18:57:10

Morethan I am so very sorry to read this, how very hard. I cannot help with your dilemma regarding the chapel of rest, I hope you can make a decision and whatever it is, be at peace with that in yourself.

With the mention of the Underground I presume your grandson is in London. I would trust that the Underground staff will look after him if necessary. I traveled on the Underground as a commuter for many years and I helped many people that I sensed needed help, as did other commuters. I hope this is of some comfort to you.


MissAdventure Fri 24-Jul-20 18:59:21

I'm so sorry for your loss; for all of your family.

I did know, but I couldn't bring myself to even touch on the subject (too close for comfort)

I just wanted to say that people will make their own decisions re: distancing.

The other things I can't really say.

I never saw my girl in the chapel, but it's such an individual thing. sad

I really am terribly sorry.

maddyone Fri 24-Jul-20 19:10:14

I’m so sorry to read of all your difficulties morethan. I haven’t really got any advice, but didn’t want to just scroll by. flowers

Txquiltz Fri 24-Jul-20 19:13:28

Please accept my condolences on your loss. There isn't a right or wrong way to get thru the days ahead. Accept help. You need not try to be hostess to all. People tend to gravitate thru the process...taking time for solitary moments, time to be with others, etc. be gentle with yourself.

MawB Fri 24-Jul-20 19:14:52

It’s a horrid time, a kind of limbo and you dread the funeral and how you will react.
For me it passed in a haze and was not as traumatic as I feared but seeing my little eldest grandson distraught really got to me. The little boys held my hands going into the church, the SILS were pall bearers and my girls close by. Somehow it all felt “right”
But we are all different.
There will be do much grief to cope with and I am sorry that much of the burden of “afterwards “ will fall on you as you must be drained already.
I did not go to see Rupert in the chapel of rest but I was with him when he died, as were our daughters and it helped me go say to myself “He is not in that box, he is in our children and our grandchildren” I did not want that mental image.
You will come through this but a harder day is difficult to imagine.
Love and what comfort I can offer, to you all xx

merlotgran Fri 24-Jul-20 19:17:53

I know how you feel, morethan. The tearfulness and anxiety are to be expected. As Luckygirl said, Try and take it a step at a time.

I didn't see DD in the Chapel of Rest. An hour before she died all the ravages of the pain and suffering left her face and when she took her last breath she looked just like the lovely 12 yr old girl who was always racing around on her pony. Nothing in the world would persuade me to erase that memory but if you decide you want to see your DDiL and it feels right then go with your instincts.

You've been under so much pressure you are bound to be emotionally drained. Be kind to yourself and don't worry if you go on a kind of autopilot during the funeral. It feels surreal because grief can't really begin until it's all over.

Take care of yourself.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 24-Jul-20 20:02:43

Morethan2 my sincere condolences 💐

Our family have never gone to the chapel of rest to see our loved ones, we hold their memories in our hearts.

When you need a hug you need a hug, please do whatever you and your relatives feel comfortable with. You will know what is right at the time 💐💐💐

kittylester Fri 24-Jul-20 21:19:46

There is great advice here morethan. This period is horrid. I always worry that I'm going show myself up but,of course, l I never do.

You have been star all the way so have confidence in your own decisions. You will be fine!

sodapop Fri 24-Jul-20 21:41:02

I'm so sorry morethan this is such a difficult time for you and your family, my thoughts are with you.
There are so many things you are concerned about, try to take one thing at a time and pass some of the responsibility to others. You need time to grieve for your daughter in law as well. Luckygirl is right don't worry about feeding everyone just have ready prepared nibbled around and leave people to talk and share their memories.

I'm sure everyone will be considerate about social distancing, have sanitiser available for them.

The chapel of rest is such a personal thing, I would go to say my own goodbyes but you must do what feels right for you. Take care of yourself and God bless all of you.

Chewbacca Fri 24-Jul-20 22:35:31

My sincere condolences morethan; of course I knew that your DIL was very ill but I didn't know that she died and that her funeral had been arranged. You've got so many things to worry about and try to sort out from a distance and I can easily understand and appreciate why you're feeling as you do. Try to concentrate only on things that you can do.
I think that those who are attending will sort themselves out regarding social distancing; they know what they need to do and I'm sure they'll be respectful of others. Regarding going to the Chapel of Rest; I did go and I've thought since that I perhaps shouldn't have. I'd have preferred to have kept the memories I had rather than that last one but everyone is different and you'll know yourself what's best for you.

cornergran Fri 24-Jul-20 23:34:16

I’m so sorry morethan. I think luckygirls advice is exactly right, break the anxiety down, each little piece will be easier to deal with on its own.

Please remember you are not responsible for other people. They all have a responsibility to keep themselves safe and if they come into your home should respect your wishes. Explain clearly and gently, or ask someone else to explain for you, in their position I’d be grateful for guidance. I’d also not expect you to feed me.

I went with my father to the chapel of rest when my mother died, I decided then I didn’t want to do it ever again and so didn’t visit him when his turn come. I had been in the hospice when he died, it was enough to have said goodbye then. I know your situation is different, the virus kept you away. It’s such a personal decision, I can understand the struggle. There is no right or wrong. Go with your heart over this one, if you decide you’d like to go please don’t leave it too long.

Your grandson will surprise you I’m sure and be absolutely fine. Please think of yourself now, it’s time to look after you. Sending love.

Summerlove Fri 24-Jul-20 23:43:43

I’m so very sorry for your loss.

The only advice I can offer is to try not to worry about how others want to socially distance. They are responsible for their own boundaries, not you.

MissAdventure Fri 24-Jul-20 23:50:01

If you're having an order of service (I think it's called) you could either have a little bit written on the back re: distancing.

Calendargirl Sat 25-Jul-20 06:46:00

I went to see my DM in the Chapel of Rest. It was about 12 days after she had died in hospital, we weren’t with her then as she passed away quite suddenly, I was at work and was going to visit her in the evening.

I would have gone to see her in the hospital mortuary, but my sister wanted to wait until she was at the funeral directors, and I agreed to keep her happy. By the time we could go, can’t remember why there was such a gap, she wasn’t keen, but I was prepared to go alone.

In the end, we both went. I’m so pleased I did. Mum was 92, died of old age, so hadn’t suffered. She looked like the sweet little old lady she was, I thanked her for all she had done for us all, told her we all loved her, and kissed her goodbye.

It just felt ‘right’ for me, and was ‘closure’, although I don’t like that expression.

But it’s up to how each individual feels about it.

Calendargirl Sat 25-Jul-20 06:47:04

Should have said, I sympathise about the wait for the funeral, I think that is the worst part, the waiting.

Furret Sat 25-Jul-20 07:14:16

I’m so sad for you. This is a huge hurdle to be got over, then afterwards there are new sadnesses to be faced.

I went to see my grandson in the chapel of rest. I wish I hasn’t. Others in this thread have said it gave them peace. So there is no answer, it’s entirely up to you.

I wish you strength for the future.

gillybob Sat 25-Jul-20 07:28:49

Just wanted to say I am so sorry morethan . I knew your DiL was very poorly but I didn’t know she had since died. Please accept my sincere condolences .

It’s hard to advise someone on what they should do at times like these as everyone has their own way of dealing with grief.

My mum died a few years back and her last weeks were spent in terrible pain . It was so hard seeing her like that. I went to the chapel of rest with my dad in the hope of seeing her lovely face at peace, but when the time came I changed my mind and just couldn’t go in .

As others have said this time waiting is awful so you have every reason to feel anxious, but I’m sure things will just work themselves out .

Thinking of you and your family flowers and sunshine xx

Dottynan Sat 25-Jul-20 07:54:56

Morrisons, Asda, Tesco and M and S all do sandwich and picnic platters to at least take away the catering worry

Auntieflo Sat 25-Jul-20 08:11:25

Oh Morethan, just read this and am so sorry. I had read that your dear DIL was so ill, but did not know that she had died.

You will be all over the place during this in between time, but as to visiting the Chapel of Rest, I think maybe that you will know what is right for you. The feeling will just come to you.

Also, please don't worry about occupying your visitors.
I am sure they will just want to do as much as they can for you. As has been mentioned, platters are available for catering, as you can't be expected to feed everyone.

Not sure that I have put this properly, but just want you to know that we will all hold you and your family in our hearts at this sad time.
Love and hugs to you and yours.

SuzieHi Sat 25-Jul-20 22:24:14

We’ve just had my mums funeral, nearly 3 weeks after her passing. Very hard. I dreaded the day and had sleepless nights beforehand. Thankfully my sister and I decided only close family could attend. Used COVID-19 as the reason. Crematorium actually had a max of 20 people but we were concerned about social distancing etc during and after so only allowed 10 to attend. ( all crematoriums vary in numbers since covid)
The day was sad. Had to wear masks - they absorbed tears! and we were supposed to sit distanced( we ignored that for dad and sat next to him).
After we had a socially distanced tea in sisters garden. All bearable but a sad day. We were glad we kept it to close family only it did make it easier.

Missfoodlove Sun 26-Jul-20 08:56:05

What an awful time, I am so sorry.

Regarding your grandson, you can ask for assisted train travel, your grandson will make himself known to staff at the station and they will make sure the guard gets him on and off at the correct stations.
This is a free service.

Underground may be a bit trickier.

Granny23 Sun 26-Jul-20 09:11:36

My DD, a funeral celebrant, tells me that most people are having a very small, close family only, cremation or burial, with the intention of having a large Memorial Service at a later, post Covid, date. Is it too late to change your arrangements now?

morethan2 Tue 04-Aug-20 21:10:17

I just wanted to update you all. My autistic grandson arrived safe and sound. I decided not to go to the chapel of rest. I cooked the food. Kept it simple with cooked roast chicken from a supermarket. I cooked chicken breasts and legs in different coatings. French sticks and lots of salad. My bereaved son has a larger garden with summerhouse and a bar so we took the food there. He was glad of the company on the evening before the funeral. We invited my DiLs close family. It was hard work but fine and I’m glad we had the get together. We all needed the distraction. Those who wanted to social distance could. The funeral itself was distressing, much as we expected. Those three youngest children dressed in black comforting their daddy and older sister was enough to melt a heart of stone. The two girls eventually gave in and sobbed but the most upsetting for me was the 9 year old boy who never shed a tear but did his best to comfort his dad and sisters. Even the celebrant was a little emotional. After the service while talking to my husband she did say she found it more difficult than usual to keep her composure seeing the young family mourn their mummy. I hope I never have to attend anything like it again.