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Barmy Blue's Bland Blog


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Now then. The funeral is done. It was a lot but not as much as I thought.
I stayed up finishing face masks that we didn't even use so I'm not sure why I bothered but it made sense to me at the time.
We decided not to go in the car with THEM and in the end to just make our own way there anyway. It's a bit different to previous funerals I've been to. For example for 2 of the 3 the wake has been at the house of the deceased, the third was a local pub but I don't know if that was actually booked or if people were just going to go there, we didn't.
It's actually pretty close to where we go to hydrotherapy and I have a rough idea of how long it takes to get there so I wasn't too worried. But there are two issues with that. Firstly I'm not good with numbers so estimating time is tricky but also we go on the weekend and traffic is different. Mum, who actually drives, was worried because weekdays are heavy goods traffic. I hadn't realized that.
We were late leaving. Mum was getting stressed like she used to driving me to school. I wasn't too bothered. I was trying not to overthink everything. We were fortunate to make it just in time for the service. We had to slink in and sit at the back. A guy we've never met and probably definitely never heard of gave a long speech to describe my dad. Some things rang true to me but a lot of it I'd never heard of before. I flip flopped between acknowledgment and annoyance. THEY were at the front. I saw eyes being wiped and I felt hatred. I recognized one or two people at least. When the guy in charge of the service mentioned "the family" I had to fight not to snort too loud. The family. That doesn't mean us you know. I don't think he even knows we exist.
Afterwards as we left I took a moment to acknowledge the coffin. I'm still mad at you. We had a chance to mingle. People tend to keep to their social groups and that's what happened. The strangers stayed away but those who knew us came to say hello. His old friend/colleague who used to live next door (that's how they became friends) who did the boiler, his brother who I didn't really remember but guessed who he was, business partner (who also did the boiler and worked with my dad but not for as long) and an old friend who is kind of like a sister to him, she used to live over the road from us I haven't seen her for so long I had to ask who she was. It was so nice to see her. She's still the same. Older but basically the same.
SHE did a fly by having to hop between guests. I was not in the mood to be friendly so curt replies and glares from me only. Had he been there I doubt my dad would have noticed. But actual normal people how only really remember me from childhood figured out I was unhappy. To be fair it's not like I was hiding it. They told me my dad's friend (shall we call him Boiler Man for the sake of this story. He's more important than that but it's the best I can come up with right now. In that case the old friend we haven't seen for ages might as well be Deaf lady, she lip reads and apparently she thinks I'm quite easy to lip read. That's a surprise to me because I don't usually open my mouth much. Mumbling was a problem in my youth but being shy didn't help much either. I was a very stroppy child, she remembers that very clearly). Anyway they told me Boiler Man had also written something for my dad that heavily featured me and we think he was a bit annoyed that the other guy got to give a looooong speech about my dad.
It was really nice to have a protective little bubble of people we knew because you know I was worried about being around strangers. My uncle was there too and he mostly hung out with us.
He offered to show it to me later. I asked if he could send it to me to read later. I wasn't sure how I'd be and I didn't want to make a scene at the wake. I haven't read it yet. i want to get all this done first.
Deaf Lady's strongest memory of me is a street party when I was little (I think it can only have been VE Day) and I stormed off (just into the house). She said to my mum I think you'd better go and get her and my mum replied no, I'll leave her to calm down. I don't remember it at all but I don't doubt that it happened. I can't remember much of that kind of thing at all but I know for a fact that I was not a pleasant child, well not all of the time anyway. I've said before. I have the worst traits of my father.
The flowers that the florist did were nice. Not quite what we expected but still very nice.
We went to the wake, which was in a pub. It seemed important to me at least to go.
I mostly stood at the side because it was comfortable for me. I didn't sit except once briefly when I went outside. I just felt more comfortable standing and being able to move if I wanted to.
At both the funeral and the wake HER son didn't acknowledge us and the daughter came by just to greet us after the funeral then stayed with the group next to us but not acknowledging us. The son stayed sat in the corner through the whole wake with his wife, the guy who did the speech and a woman who is HER old friend. I know this because when the chance came I asked HER who all these strangers were. Yes that's either exactly what I asked or close enough to it. The group with the daughter were HER friends from work. Two groups were people my dad did jobs for and/or worked with and the other group were neighbours. The friends and neighbours didn't acknowledge us but some of the people he'd worked with/for actually remembered me and said hello. i couldn't remember them so they had to tell me but they were nice enough and it was very nice of them to remember me. That did feel nice, I wasn't invisible to EVERYONE at least.

In the run up to the funeral, while I was a bit down a few days ago, I had a thought as I walked home with Yui and watched a crow in the street. And a wood pigeon with a bit of a limp. Wood pigeons are fun. I thought it would be nice some how to see a crow when we come out of the crematorium. They're a good bird for it. They eat meat so they're known for being around the dead and they're all black which suits our traditional funeral attire and their CAW CAW cry is loud and obnoxious and I think it would be nice to hear, break up the atmosphere. Or a magpie. They're fun, cheeky but a little brighter than a crow. There wasn't one at the crematorium but there was birdsong and that was really nice. It was supposed to rain but it didn't but the sky was grey but that was kind of nice too. Fitting.
Anyway. Stood by the wall in the pub I could see out of the windows to the garden area and at one point I saw a crow. It made me feel really happy. It was cold so people only went outside to smoke and I popped out a lot just for variety. Too many people talking and a bit warm inside and sometimes I just wanted to feel the bracing cold, to ground myself or something I guess. Nice bird. I looked around for any after and there was never another crow that I saw. A seagull or two overhead and some pigeons. Nice birds.

When it came time to leave I decided to approach HER. This would be my best chance to make my only request. Mum and the others of our little group were leaving but I hung back and they didn't notice. Mum did look back for me. She saw the situation and left me to it. I'm not a child anymore and I made the choice to do this. (ordinarily I'm a shy little thing who would stay close to my mum and maybe get her to handle conversations for me. That persisted to early adulthood too so it's kind of nice to see that I have grown up even if it's just a little. I think I'm due to bleed soon so that might explain it)
SHE said buy as we were leaving and as I was last I made my move. I have a request. I'd like his house keys please. Not right now of course. She want's a picture so she knows what ones they are. I have them with me so I take them out and she takes a picture but I've just realized that I only thought to show the bigger more clearly recognizable key so I hope he kept them on a particular keyring so she knows they're together. I explained my reasons for asking and she was completely understanding. And then I asked the other question. I only thought of this at the wake and I'd been wondering if I should ask but I felt it was better to get this poison out sooner rather than later. Why didn't he tell me? She's not stupid. She knows what I mean. And we have a discussion. She tears up a few times. I'm close but I can hold it back if I have a moment to breathe. I really REALLY didn't want to cry today but of course if I feel emotion I have to show it.
Basically she kept telling him to tell us because it wasn't fair but of course he didn't. She told him things he did weren't right (like he used to turn up randomly after he moved out and just let himself in. I was happy to see him but it pissed mum off because it would make us even later for school especially if he decided to give the car a quick check over, yes he did that without request or consent. And SHE told him that he couldn't just do that, even though he owns half of the house it's US that live there. He took some heed because he did notify us of pick a particular regular time but he didn't actually stop letting himself in until we got the dog and started locking the door just in case she figured out the doorknob). It seems that it just didn't occur to him that these kind of things were hurtful. I explained to her HOW he told me about her and that I was angry about it and sorry (because it actually isn't her fault and I knew that but my feelings had to go somewhere) because I was angry at her because i couldn't be angry with my dad because he was dying and now he's dead so I couldn't let him know but I AM angry with him. And of course she was lovely and completely understanding and displeased (I don't know if it was as far as being angry) with him for leaving us in this mess. Because she kept telling him to tell us exactly so all this I'm going through now wouldn't happen. I didn't want to dump all of it on her there and then so I left out the things that didn't come immediately to mind. It turns out that I'm not as abnormal as I thought. SHE couldn't read my dad either. He didn't really express much and he always seemed grumpy at least. She said it was an effort to find pictures of him smiling.
So yeah. I don't HATE her anymore. But I am still angry with the situation. To be fair I never really hater HER. I just needed to be normal enough for the funeral. Now it's done and we've had some mending of the wounds my ****ING IDIOT FATHER caused I can let my anger settle squarely at his metaphorical feet (because he is or soon will be just ash, I'm not sure how long it takes to burn the body).
Mum and the group were waiting for me. They hadn't seen me hang back but my mum did. She told them we were having a moment so they nicely waited.

On the way home mum told me that Boiler Man had also tried to tell my idiot father that this secrecy wasn't good and mum told them how she'd felt about it all, that they'd separated so she didn't mind the relationship but could never forgive them for taking away two friends from a shy little girl (lonely really but she hadn't thought of that). He told me that my dad DID love me just you know how he was he couldn't say it. I know that. They hugged me. This is how normal people act.
This further enhances my suspicion that my dad was either a psychopath or near to the autism spectrum or similar condition. Because BOTH of his brothers are/were personable people while he was not.

I think I've figured out a good analogy for what he thought being a good parent was. It's someone who gets a dog and keeps it in the garden. It's fed, watered and sheltered sufficiently and maybe once in a while you take it for a walk or pat it on the head and you think You're a good owner. He buys toys for the dog too but doesn't play with them much or ever. But it turns out he DID play with the dog when it was an innocent puppy. He'd play with it all the time while it was small and cute but when it started to grow up he didn't spend as much time with it and then got to the state it where the dog is so isolated that it barely reacts to him. But, in the meantime, he was perfectly happy to play with other people's dogs and puppies, probably because he could just have the fun and not the responsibility of dog ownership.

Mum said to me when I voiced this thought once we were home that everyone thought he'd be alone and not get married and that his brother (the one still alive) would. But it ended up being the reverse. She said my dad was kind of the black sheep of his family.

It was kind of nice knowing that I'm not the only one who felt usurped (at the funeral at least). The human I'd think of to call my dad's best friend didn't get to make a speech in favour of the other guy who was a friend made much later. Usurped daughter. Usurped friend. The fact that old and new didn't mix save for work connections says it all really. It's really nice to know I'm not so alone though.

So yeah. That was the funeral. I'm glad I went.


  1. Logos's Avatar
    I think you can be very proud of yourself for initiating a conversation with her. You did great Blue.