realities
onward

a good man

And so it goes, indeed.

Saturday morning at 3.30am the good, honest heart of KDiddy finally ceased beating. Even now, after all the rigmarole of the funeral and attendant rituals, there is an air of unreality about this fact. In the end, they think he got a hospital bug that he simply could not fight because of his other health problems. Such a sad, regretful thing. If only, if only.

I was proud of how gracious and quietly humorous JB was at the wake, wearing his Dad's nice tweed sportscoat, shaking the many mourners' hands. All the townspeople came. KDid had lived in that small town on the edge of the world for all his long - almost 80 - years, and those many friends and acquaintances, some of whom had known him all his life, or all theirs, were drawn to the wake, mobilised by the local radio station, many with a lifelong history with KDid. We must have shaken over a 100 hands at the wake, so many that patterns would emerge in the faces leaning in to say they were sorry - so many that you'd start to think that hey, haven't you already been around?

All sorts of people came, young and old. Of course other people loved him too - I don't know why this hadn't occurred to me. He had this pure child-like presence, this kind of innocence and modesty that appealed to everyone. He was funny. He was handsome. I remember whenever we'd go to visit him, he'd be in the kitchen with his tie and jacket on, always beautifully shaved and smelling of Imperial Leather. He was cool. He'd wear dark glasses in the summer and keep a straightface for the camera. He was scrupulous. Humble, tolerant. He had a map of the world on the kitchen wall, and that was what he wanted for his boys, the world - he was a great friend to them. He taught them everything they needed to know.
 
Ha. The JB hasn't lost his sense of humour. We had an hour to buy some funeral-appropriate clothes in the small town where the county hospital was - we had nothing with us. I hastily bought a desperate black mac that has a weird smell in Penneys and Johnny grabbed some trousers. He didn't have time to try them on so when we were getting ready for the funeral, we had this hysterical moment where he tried to pour himself into them - they were painted on, I don't know how he ever knelt down in them. So there we were all scruffy and thrown together, him in his drainpipes and a tie of his father's and me in my malodorous coat and office trousers with the wrong sort of shoes, and JB's brother and his girlfriend were all decked out in sunglasses and immaculate black suits, like Hollywood stars. Oh dear.
Ah well.

After the funeral, there was a few hang sangwiches and soup in a local hotel, more stories with friends. Some people came all the way from Dublin, including Brother, and Sister1 and Sister2, a collection of colleagues, all of whom had to leave home at 5am to be there. People were so good. They showed us what to do, ushering us in at the burial, like substitute parents. 

And now, I am back in the big smoke, and with the bad timing of which the universe seems to be so inordinately fond, tomorrow we have our home visit with the social worker. The JB is determined to push ahead with it.

So I better go and make the house look like sane people live in it.

T

Edgeoftheworld
Next parish, America.

[Btw, it appears I really do have a cat. P-kitty. She wore me down! I've been buying proper cat food and I made arrangements for Sister1 to feed her while we were away. It's a done deal, isn't it? I do, I have a cat. Drawings soon.]

Comments

Lawyerish

I'm so sorry for your and the JB's loss. He sounds like a lovely person.

(And the part about the too-tight pants made me laugh.)

Bionic Baby Mama

oh, twangy. i am so sorry. peace be with you and JB.

(and p-kitty. glad you've let her wear you down.)

May

many many condolences to the JB, and you, for the loss of what sounds like a real Mensch.

And hugs.

And more hugs.

I am so sorry. Thinking of you very much very hard.

(Sense of humour - did I tell you about my grandmama's funeral? She was a very very very proper lady indeed, and being a devout Catholic, very PROPER as well. And we booked a nice pub to do the sarnies and sherry afterwards, and I suddenly noticed everyone who went to the loo came back again pink with suppressed giggles. So I went to the loos. The walls were COVERED in highly elegant Aubrey Beardsley-style Naughty Pictures. The gents was even worse (yes, of course I peeped). We all ended up in the carpark hysterical with laughter and completely unable to go back in and talk politely to the more po-faced friends-of-grandmama-from-Church brigade).

Womb For Improvement

He sounds like a star. I'm sorry for yours and JBs loss, I'm sure he'll be with you in spirit tomorrow ensuring his grandchild is on its way.

Fernando

So sorry for your loss. He sounds like a man to be proud to have known. And your description of the events is beautifully written, as ever.

A warning about your visit tomorrow. Some social workers halt all assessments for up to 6 months when there's been a death in the family "to allow you to grieve". Don't know if this is the case where you are. You may want to have a counter-argument prepared should this arise.

Lorin

So sorry for your loss.

a

So sorry for your loss - even though he had a good, long life, it's always too soon.

It sounds like you and JB were quite the matched pair. I think that every funeral needs some sort of weirdness to lighten the mood. In our family, there was the children almost falling through the divider at my grandmother's wake, my mom popping her gum and earning the family look (it could make you drop dead possibly) from my aunt at Uncle Steve's wake, my sister and I making inappropriate jokes at my dad's wake.

Much luck with the home visit. I hope it goes smoothly. Can't wait to hear more tales of P-kitty...

Andie

I am so sorry for your loss. I love the tales of normal life: you see, living in the country I have imagined this very scenario, I simply won't have anything appropriate to wear to a funeral. It is good to laugh, life goes on, for those of us left behind, after all. It sounds like KDiddy was a wonderful man.

I do think it is wonderful that you have a cat. P-Kitty has adopted you. (I do wonder if this is the same cat, formerly known as Senor Gato? Tis a new cat?) Cats are wonderful.

katie

Oh, so sorry about your FIL, it's one of those times when you don't think straight, isn't it.

(We drove 6 hours to my much-loved grandfather's funeral only to discover I had not put the bag with my clothes and lens case/solutions in the car, frantic purchasing of black clothes and wash kit in the morning, and an emergency shirt for Mr Spouse as it was an incredibly hot day and his shirt appeared to be made of flannel).

Valery

the unreality of "mobilised by the local radio station"! as a city-girl-never-listens-to-radio this is something that would not even have occurred to me.
Glad you got a glimpse of that life too.
And sunglasses on a funeral sounds out of place to me. I think you did fit better....
Hope that p-kitty will allow consolatory stroking.
All the best for your assessment.
x

manymanymoons

I'm so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful post.

bunny

Oh...I'm so sorry to hear of this. And the mixture of humor, sorrow and love in this description is so familiar and so right. He was clearly a magnificent man to have made a son like JB.

QoB

I'm so sorry.

I've just come back from laying flowers at my Nana's grave (it was her birthday today). The best we can do for the dead is remember them well, and from what you've written you're doing a beautiful job of that.

Hairy Farmer Family

Oh, Twangy, I'm so very sorry indeed. My sincerest condolencies and sympathies to you both.

Adele

I'm so sorry, Twangy. It's a shocking thing, no matter what the lead up has been. I'm glad that there were substitute parents ushering you here and there, and that so many people had so many good reminiscences of KDid. But it doesn't make it less hard and I'm sorry.

And I hope you're both readjusting to the big smoke. If you look very, very closely in that photo, you can see a group of us lining up in that next parish, waving and sending you good thoughts.

Jane G

As usual I am late to the blog, but I am so sorry to hear of the passing of KDiddy. He sounds like an absolute gentleman. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Might have gotten the grammer slightly wrong on that one but you get my drift.

And I did smile at the mention of hang sangwiches. I hope they were washed down with pints of shtout.

Congrats on becoming a cat servant. We currently are in service to three. It's a noble calling in life.

Amanda

Huge Hugs.
(Ultimately, I have found that hugs say more than words).

Kristi

I am sorry for your families loss, may his memory be a daily blessing.

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