Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Undertakers

My Mum is one of the most disorganised people I have ever known so it went without saying that I would organise the funeral. It went like this..
  • On Sunday night I informed my Mum that we had a meeting with the undertakers on Monday at her house. Shock and disbelief that I had organised it so quickly? My Mum couldn't believe that these people are on call 24 hrs a day. My Mum is the type of person that if she needs an appointment for something she goes to the relevant place and books it.
  • A very nice lady/girl came to see us - she had no make-up on and I swear she looked about 16 but she knew her stuff.
  • Within minutes my Mum had asked a stupid question ie. 'Oh I wont be able to go and register his death - what if there is no parking outside.' I reminded her that I was doing the organising and that she would be doing nothing!
  • I chose a dark wood coffin - my Mum looked at it and wailed noooo he wanted a basket/woven one. Sorted that, supposedly more eco friendly and of course came with the eco friendly price tag of 500 pounds, btw he is being cremated.
  • We then got to what he would wear. I set her off when she started waffling on about how non of his clothes fitted him anymore by saying 'not to worry Mum they will pin all the excess cloth to the back' (she is having an open coffin at the service because his son who flies out tonight from SA didn't get to see him).
  • Scott thinks the open coffin is a really cool idea because he has never seen a dead person!
  • We chose a spray for the coffin - took forever because my Mum couldn't choose the colour of the flowers.
  • The poor undertaker made a 'he had a good life then' type comment due to him being 80 and that set my Mum off again because she didn't think 80 was a good innings?
  • This is my Mums 3rd partner to die so we got to hear the interesting differences between these nearly 3 ceremonies. Her first husband was a Iranian Muslim and died 6 months after they married of typhoid.
  • Special requests - Robin wanted a stake driven through his heart to ensure that he is dead! There were no takers on that one.

I called the attorneys handling his estate (considerable) yesterday to inform them and ask them to arrange the reading of the will before Robin's son goes back to SA - he told me I have been watching too many Hollywood movies and that there was no such thing, each person would be informed individually.


  1. Wow, I also thought there'd be a reading like in the movies. Shame, your poor Mom. I am sure that she appreciates you stepping up and helping her out, even if she doesn't tell you so.
    Why wouldn't the undertaker do the stake through the heart thing? Surely they must have had weirder requests than that one before now?

  2. Your organisation is so admirable! I wouldn't have a clue what to do first. I dread the day I will have to face this, my Mum is THE fussiest and most pernickety person in the world and I know if I get any aspect of her funeral wrong, she'll come back to haunt me. I just hope she's got it all written down somewhere.

    It must be a huge comfort to your Mom having you there. Thinking of you xx

  3. You are amazing...just stepping in and doing it all! Can I call when I ever need you;-D

    Shame your poor mum...it is not going to be easy for her to be on her own.

  4. Jo you haven't changed an ounce...:o) still on top of everything! I am so relieved for your Mom that you could have done this for her. Oh course you make each moment of the process hysterical. I never knew one could get cremated in a basket.

    BTW I am so glad you commented on my blog...I couldn't work out what your new one was called. my reason for being MIA.

    I MISS you. X

  5. I know it's highly inappropriate, but I did laugh at your last bullet point... sorry! Being 6000 miles away, I had no hand in the arrangements for my step-mum's funeral... but if she'd had her way, the coffin would be cardboard - she was also cremated. Quite shocked at Robin's son's behaviour too, I have to say!

    I hadn't realised you were back blogging - thanks for leaving the comment as a clue! ;^)