We set off for Devon and became concerned by the gantries stating that there was a 3-hour delay at J 16 of the M4. We kept going and the signs didn't change - so we used Google maps on my phone to find an alternative route. It was really good - it didn't follow the official diversion (which was queuing from the motorway) but took us along roads which ran parallel to the motorway - bringing us back on at J18. We only took about 40 mins longer and got to Bovey at 1.30 - giving us 15 mins for a cup of tea before our meeting with the vicar at 2. The meeting didn't last long - everything for the funeral seemed to be in hand, even the refreshments which were being organised by the Mothers Union. Then we both took Suki for a walk in Stover before popping up to Tracey House for Mary's handbag and a few bits.
The next day was a busy one. We had a 9.30 appointment with the Registrar in Newton Abbot to register the death, then we went to the funeral directors and agreed the final arrangements. I went over to the bank with the death certificate expecting them to pay the funeral directors, but they insisted I had to have an appointment with an account manager. They managed to make me one for that afternoon, so it was back to Newton Abbot for a 2 pm appointment. This was very successful, I was able to close the account, pay the funeral expenses and have the balance transferred into my account.
On Wednesday I went to Tracey House and cleared Mary's room. It seemed rather intrusive and made me feel very sad. I took the clothes straight to Rowcroft Charity Shop - the presence of a parking space outside being the deciding factor! I put the rest of the stuff in the garage to sort through after Christmas. Peter and Mike went out ringing in the evening, and Lorraine turned up about 10 pm - just after I had gone to bed! I was awake enough to say hello.
The funeral was the next day. Lorraine and I went for a walk in Parke in the morning - she was horrified at the state of Mike's car in which we travelled, and actually held her coat up so she didn't sit on it!
The three of us walked up to the church at 1 pm and heard the bells ringing out. It was lovely to hear them and know they were being rung for us. The funeral was well attended - particularly by members of the church and Tracey House. There was only Steve, Emma and Kit there from the family, but it was nice to see them there. The service was lovely - Mary had left instructions as to the hymns and readings and had written a potted history of her life for her eulogy. Graham (the vicar) added some nice touches of his own - and I forgave him his "sermon" on the meaning of "from whence cometh my help". Mike read the reading very nicely. There was a very nice tea in the hall afterwards - and everyone drifted off afterwards. It was nice having Lorraine there, and she was very helpful in the hall taking round the photo books and the book for people to sign.
Order of Service
In the evening I went to the handbells at Moretonhampstead - it was Christmas party evening and we had nibbles and mince pies at the interval. I shared the top bells with Jean. It was a very enjoyable evening and helped lighten a sad day. There wasn't room for Mike - so he stayed home and started the first jigsaw of the Christmas period! I had managed to get a nice big piece of hardboard from Arnolds which was big enough to do a 1500 piece 2ft by 3ft jigsaw - and put pieces round the outside. Perfect.