I really drew strength from these messages yesterday and the night before even though I didn’t type back thank you all x
I was beside myself in the morning (hardly slept too) but put on comfy clothes including my husband’s walking top, a necklace he’d given me and managed to be ready in time despite some panicking. My stepdad’s car worked and my mum and brother were with me too.
When we arrived I didn’t think I could get out of the car but then saw my sister in law who looks so much like my René.
My brothers in law from Holland were pall bearers and I walked behind them in. There was some commotion as one of my friends (the same one who told me last week that I will meet someone else! She gets quite awkward) messed up the covid seating plan and upset one half of the Chapel sitting in lots of seats so elderly family then had no seat and there were empty seats inside whilst people stood outside due to that which was a shame as I missed the first song then trying to rectify it but it was OK and I know she didn’t mean to.
It was a lovely service but I was feeling quite alone because we all had to sit 2m from each other and I was struggling to breathe at some points in the beginning looking at the coffin. Then my lovely 4 in-laws (2 of Renés brothers and his two sisters) did a reading of his life. They said some lovely things including that they saw he was so happy here in England with me and that I will still be part of the family, as well as some funny anecdotes that finally felt really authentic amidst all this weird unfamiliar funeral stuff. It meant a lot and then the minister reminded us of people watching online since it was being webcasted to other relatives in the Netherlands who couldn’t make it. This made me feel close to my husband.
It was over quite quick and then we walked past the flowers and stood in the car park for a little while speaking to people, not that easy with our masks on and 2m apart but it was funny how much comfort I got speaking to all these people around the full spectrum of René.
Afterwards I went for a walk through the autumn leaves in the gardens with my close family and René’s siblings, showing them places I’d walked with René and sharing more memories. His sisters each gave me a bracelet and they gave me a bottle of Dutch spirit so we can all toast René together on his birthday next month over videocall.
It was a really special day to me and afterwards I felt almost like I’d been with René. Didn’t think I would enjoy a funeral ever and was particularly dreading this one but it was the first joy I’ve had since he died because it was all about him.
Last night I slept around 4 hours unbroken which was very good. Today the feeling of comfort is wearing off and I know this is only the beginning but at least this one day showed me it was possible to feel close to him still.
Thanks again for your good luck messages and I was so grateful to the people who came to the funeral even though I didn’t really care who came or anything beforehand as I didn’t think it all mattered. I didn’t think anyone but him could comfort me in any way but talking about him like this was the next best thing and I am quite surprised at the comfort I felt from you here and the people there.
Today I am taking it easy but there was a weird development with the electrics overnight too, I didn’t do anything with them but this morning some of the broken motion sensor lights work again and the automatic curtains and blinds opened themselves at sunlight. Some hope maybe.