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I recently attended the funeral of my partner’s mum. It was one of the nicest funerals I have ever been to.

Mavis had left everything ready for her passing, (at the age of 88), in such good order, so that her two sons didn’t have to second-guess anything.

She let them know what hymns and readings she wanted, what kind of coffin, (a beautiful willow one, which was great because I just happen to have a friend who makes them), which church, which minister and who to use for the funeral services.

She carefully recorded her wishes as to who was to receive items of furniture and jewellery, why she wished them to have them and where these items had originally come from, to give a sense of their history.

Apart from the actual organising of these things, which was very graceful thanks to Mavis’s forethought and love for her sons, there was little else for us to do.

Without the worry of wondering if we’d made the right choices, this left a wonderful space for the wider family to come together and share our thoughts and emotions as we celebrated her life and really acknowledged how she had touched our lives and those of the people who joined us that day – and there were lots of people – the church was packed! There were even 40 comments on facebook from past pupils that she had taught over the years as a swimming instructor!

This brought me to a place of reflection about my own life. About how much I love my children; how important family is, and good friends and colleagues, and to remind myself to grow and nourish these relationships so that they may continually blossom and touch others along the way.

We now continue life without the physical presence of Mavis, but I feel she’s very close by.


Two essences that have been really helpful are First Aid for the initial shock, and Heart Support for grief and separation.