So - we did it. My father's funeral was on Thursday.
It was beautiful and makes me feel so much better.
A perfect sunny day in a Cotswold village with laughter, tears, food, family and many friends.
My step-mother managed to come from her hospital bed in a minibus and wheelchair and we sat at the front of the church together and said goodbye to Dad.
I managed to hold it together to give the Tribute - standing at the front of the church and speaking about him, with the family roaring with laughter at the funny memories and afterwards we all went to the village hall and had tea and cakes and sandwiches and enjoyed looking at the display I'd put up of my Dad's photos and things from his Fleet Street photography career.
And so, and so.
This afternoon I am in the town again to bring my step-aunt to the hospital to visit her sister.
And I went to the funeral director's to collect Dad's ashes...
So, while I am here in the library on the computer...Dad is sitting quietly under a dog blanket on the backseat of the car!!! I hope the car doesn't get stolen....it's a surprisingly heavy urn...
I'll talk to my step-mum about what she would like to do with the ashes. Both she and Dad want to be scattered in their garden at home, but I don't know if she is happy for me to do that now or whether she wants to wait and do it later when she is home...
And SHE is amazing. She has stayed upbeat and strong through all of this and is talking a lot about her determination to get back to her house with a Carer fulltime etc...we have no idea if that is possible...but she has so much determination she just might do it....a terrible terrible irony for Dad who visited her every day for months...and thought she was fading away from the hospital Super Bug just before he died himself.
And so. Such a strange time. So many emotions and images and experiences. I have to hand over all the legal and financial stuff to my step-aunt tomorrow and then get ready to fly back to Japan on Wednesday.
All so strange...
Anyway, I should get back to Dad now. I'll go back to the hospital and then take Dad home. Driving REALLY carefully.