Well, as startling as it may seem, it would appear that a group of Wisemans can and indeed did tolerate each other in a small and confined space! Andrew, Hamish, Heidi-Rose, Lois, Christopher, Richard, Esther and Myself all remained surprisingly ambient on this, an occasion, which, lets face it, held many different emotions for all those attending.
For myself, I was reasonably pleased with how the service went. Heidi-Rose spoke well, with feeling and humour, and Geoff did what Geoff does best, speak with conviction, albeit reiteration seemed to surpass actual content. Having promised Heidi-Rose that I would sit with her, Esther and I arrived early and plonked down about 3 rows back. I had no urge to sit at the front, and while waiting, Geoff came over and spoke. As convivial as ever we passed pleasantries and renewed our interaction, something which we do seem quite good at. Misguided as his faith is, I suppose I can at least appreciate his fullness in engaging in it. Then the procession of family came in with the coffin and with them Heidi-Rose, who sat on the front. In an attempt to keep my promise, I moved forward but ended up sat by Nikita, thus ending up with the result of sitting where I didn’t want to be, and next to someone I didn’t want to sit with. Good start!
And from then on in fairness, pretty much everything went smoothly. We all ended back up at the Kings Arms in Crewe, Anne and Rod had traveled up to Crewe, but neglected to speak to either myself or Esther, either at the church, the graveyard, or at the pub, Andrew spoke at the graveyard, but then accidentally/purposefully (pick your option) never said goodbye to Heidi-Rose after pointedly shaking everyone else’s hand. Considering Heidi-Rose’s contribution to everything, I found this a touch out of order, certainly more so than Anne mysteriously managing to avoid any contact with me and her sister-in-law. So, people filed out, the god squadders first to disperse after a swift indulgence in a drink that doesn’t turn into some zombie saviour’s blood! Eventually only Es, me, Hamish, Hazel, Chris and Richard remained. Much was talked about, all in done good spirits. Eventually Hamish and Hazel headed home, and we all migrated to the Duke, where I handed out a lesson at pool!
And so it was done. I will forever have a certain sense of amusement at the fact that mother was buried in the same plot as dad, presumably (if you believe mother’s claims and protestations of innocence) on top of the old man for the first time! A swig of whisky with Heidi-Rose at the grave side, a toast of sorts, and a set of good memories from the bar. For myself, all my expectations were surpassed as to quite how well things went. For that, I suppose I should offer up some thanks. And Esther? Well, her exposure to Wiseman’s en mass was not anywhere near as bad as it could be.
It should be noted that, the ice had been broken the day before the funeral. Sat in the Kings, Heidi-Rose, Hamish and Hazel came for a drink with us. After a few, and escorting H to the bus station, we wound up back at Hamish’s for food and beer. Singing on a mic that Hamish sprang on us ensued, and it’s fair to say that a good time was had by all. It was good to have the initial meeting thing out of the way after so long. Certainly it made for an easier experience the day after, probably for Hazel and Hamish as much as Es and myself.
So now, after a day out in Liverpool, we’ve returned home. I wonder now quite how much I will see of my family again from now on. Given Anne’s behaviour, and Susan’s non appearance (so still no trainers/ flight money!!!) I would think that this will be the last interaction I have with either of them. Andrew wasn’t exactly forthcoming, Iain stayed in New Zealand and appears to be unable to communicate in a coherent capacity, so that leaves Hamish as the only direct family. As I now really have no real reason to be back in Crewe again, it may be that the only time I would see him is if he passed through Holland. I guess we’ll see.
I wish I could end on something positive about mother, some sort of indication that all that was past, has now past. In truth, I can say only this : I went to the funeral to make my own peace, and if possible, maybe offer some support for others, something I could do due to my own detachment. I know I did one of those two, and hope I accomplished the latter in some way shape or form. The funeral offered me this chance, and to have managed/achieved it, makes it worth my while having attended.
For that, I am grateful.
As a post script, I should say a thank you to my wife, who supervised me (lol) through all of the above. I could’ve done this without you, but I probably would’ve been a less sane man afterwards. Thank you Esther!