I changed from being a cremation to a burial type of gal in the last five weeks. Well, to be honest I hadn’t given death much thought before (sort of ‘lucky’ enough to have largely kept a ‘hands over the ears, eyes squeezed shut’ approach to it up to now). That changed in a blink. On a sunny morning. A day with innocuous work tasks ahead, lunch bought and, for the first time ever, put in the work fridge. Thoughts of whether or not LB might want to go to the school Summer Ball the following evening. And then the call from the unit and carnage.
One of the awful things (there are so many ‘awful’ things, awful really becomes meaningless) about unexpected death, is that you’re faced with unspeakable decisions to make in a very short space of time. A space in which you don’t want to make such decisions and you really ain’t really in a position to make such decisions. Major, major decisions. Decisions that parents should never have to make. With the accompanying screaming backdrop of disbelief, desolation and despair. But the clock is kind of ticking and processes need to be set in motion.
The crem was out. Way too brutal. And final.
Our local cemetery was closed to new business. It overlooked the hospital where LB died, so wasn’t really an option. Rosie’s friend’s uncle had recently, sadly, been buried in the woodland part of Wolvercote cemetery. She said it was lovely space. Our amazing funeral director said there was space available. And the decision was oddly straightforward in the end.
I went for a walkabout there with my mum and older sis the Sunday before the do. I liked the shade of the trees in the baking heat. I liked the peaceful feeling of the space. It felt right. And it still feels right. And, among so much that feels wrong, that screams wrong, this feeling is important. As it turned out, LB is in a lovely spot. On the edge of the woodland area, very close to the outbuilding housing the diggers. Under the trees but with sunlight, and a lovely view of the rest of the cemetery. Perfect.
But so, so fucking wrong.