Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The last song

So, that story about the funeral song...

Well, a week ago it was the last day my Mum was eating and drinking and talking to us. She had a little bit of porridge in the morning, a bit of biscuit later on and, with that, one final cup of tea (in a favourite cup). She had some visitors (one of which was her lovely GP) and then something really amazing happened in the afternoon. At one point I was in her room tidying (or fetching or cleaning or something) when I heard a sound I wasn't used to – the sound of my mother singing. This was an unusual occurrence because although my Mum loved music (opera/classical/musicals/some jazz songs) she never, ever sang about the house or even joined in with choirs or any kind of communal singing. But here, on the last day of her active, connected-with-us life she was dropping her guard and singing - so sweetly – like a little girl. The words sounded familiar...and, interestingly enough, they were about roses (her very favourite flower). It took me a little while to remember it but then I realised she was singing this song (subtitle version added when original disappeared):



So guess what's going to be played (from a CD) at the end of her funeral service today? How could I not...it was like she was giving me a very clear message ('play this, dear'). We are going to have roses too. Lots and lots of roses.

x

18 comments:

Niamh B said...

That's beautiful Rachel, and what a great song.

Good luck today.

Titus said...

Oh Rachel, how appropriate. An utterly joyous song that always makes me cry.

Rachel Fox said...

I know! Wasn't she clever to pick it?

Now I must sort food things and people things and think about what the heck I'm going to wear. Luckily I have a stylish friend staying - maybe she can do something with me.

x

Totalfeckineejit said...

How sad and how wonderful.How fitting.Perfect.

Dave King said...

What a fabulous memory for you to have of her! You will treasure it always.

Marion said...

That's a wonderful story, beautiful and sad, haven't heard that song since my childhood. All the best for today. xx

Eryl Shields said...

Such a lovely story, Rachel, and the song is perfect. Good luck today, X

martine said...

What more could anyone want than to end one's life feeling it had been filled with such warm good feelings, it must be a great comfort to you.
much love and deepest sympathies
martine

hope said...

I'm glad your Mum left you with a song and a lovely memory to go with it. Just like a mother, always trying to point out exactly what we should do. :)

You're in my thoughts, friend.

Karen said...

How beautiful, Rachel. It is as if a life is being symbolized in that sweet red rose.
xoxo

Rachel Fox said...

Thank-you all for calling by. We had a brilliant day in many ways - sunshine, lots of lovely people (friends, family, Quakers, neighbours...), roses (although the song is about red ones Mum liked pink ones best so we had pink) and great food (some ordered, some made, some brought by guests). I put lots of photos of Mum in her sitting room and we had her bedroom all ready so people could go and sit in there for quiet time too. It was all lovely. Wish she could have seen it all of course.

As for the rose, Karen...you're about right there. I kept poems out of the funeral really as Mum wasn't a particular poetry fan (though she liked Shakespeare plus some Edward Thomas, some Muriel Spark, some Ted Hughes - the last three partly because they linked with her own life story in some way). I do of course have lots of poems about her though - she was a very strong character, my only parent for most of my life, a person with a great life story - and so how could I not write about her? There is a rose poem all about her here and I did consider using it at the funeral in some way...but I decided against it. I'm not sure she would have liked it much and I wanted all things she would have liked on that day (so I wrote her a biography and handed that out instead). She loved biographies.

x

Liz said...

I love the song, Rachel, and the story of how it came about is 'magic'...
The day sounds lovely...take care.

Dominic Rivron said...

My thoughts are with you. I'm afraid when I read your Bus poem, I skipped to the poem, so missed the most important news. That's teach me not to speed-read blogs.

As I experienced it, losing a parent is like losing a limb.

Selma said...

My heart aches for you right now. I love 'Who Will Buy?' I was a soloist in the school choir in Year 10 and my music teacher loved 'Who Will Buy?' She became very ill and had to retire and I sang the song at her farewell. I am still very fond of it.

Thinking of you XX

Roxana said...

i'll photograph all the pink roses in my mother's garden (she loves them as well) and send them to you -
i don't know what to say - i am in awe of your grace and courage

Rachel Fox said...

Ah, Roxana...I feel you are giving me too much credit for something!

But nice to read you all anyway.
xx

Poetikat said...

Sorry I missed this. I always loved that song ever since I first saw the film in '68. It must have been a lovely moment at the funeral.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks everyone.
x