Tag Archives: funeral arrangements

The circus has come to town – part 2

A second post in a week, which isn’t my normal habit, but I felt compelled to write this week’s first post, after watching the previous week’s episode of Offspring, which was a slight side step about the joys of widowhood. (read: sarcasm)

On that note, thank you to everyone who sent me messages on Wednesday night after Offspring ended, I think seeing what Nina has experienced on the show, has reminded friends of how hard it was for me, losing Nick.

Even though I held it together, I said the same things Nina did, ‘I don’t know how to live. I don’t know how to hold onto him… I don’t know how to live without him.’

And yes, I cried for the last 5 minutes of the show when she let Patrick go, using many of the same lines I did, when I said my goodbye to Nick, you can read it again here.

Enough about Offspring, now onto my real life course of events.

The circus has come to town - part 2
New York in 08

So, i’ve decided to pick up today where I left last week with – the circus has come to town – part 2, because the day was long and there was so much more that took place.

I left you with the laughable shower scene, which i’m hoping you did laugh along with. After finishing my shower, I obviously got dressed and went to join the rest of the family that had gathered. I watched as everyone turned to look at me, as I approached my kitchen area.

I was getting used to these stares already, waiting to see me crack….but no, this time I was wrong…

You see, I had put on a pink top. Yep, you read right, pink. Being of European background and the fact my husband had just died approx. 6 hours earlier, it was ‘apparently’ a sign of disrespect.

Now, I don’t buy into all these traditions and Nick absolutely didn’t. Me wearing colour was not a sign that I loved him any less, and it also wouldn’t miraculously help him rise from the dead.

We had laughed about it before he died. He hated me in black in general, he teased my mum constantly for wearing black, asking if she had a funeral to attend. He specifically told me not to wear black when he died! I was kinda scared he’d come back to haunt me if I did. (just joking!)

My grandma was the one who started on me, but in hindsight I can’t be mad because it’s what she believes in, and having lost her husband 6 months earlier, and now me, joining the same widow club, she felt it was her duty to tell me.

She started, ‘what would people think, it was disrespectful, you’ll look like you’re not in mourning, it’s wrong…blah,blah,blah.’

I fought with her for a while on it, trying to explain in my 1/2 english, 1/2 italian way of speaking to her, that it was my choice and I didn’t care what people thought and it’s what Nick wanted.

Obviously all falling on deaf ears, I felt like a child being scolded. She kept trying to push me towards my bedroom to change. In the end I did, because I couldn’t be bothered hearing it anymore.

But, once there, I quickly realised I had no black tops, not even a t-shirt, so I settled on navy instead, that was ‘approved’ by her.

Can anyone relate to this ??

The other part of having a partner die is that you need to get started on funeral arrangements. I wasn’t prepared for this!

Nick’s parents gave me the number of the funeral directors they wanted to use, so I made the call and waited.

A middle aged Greek guy arrived and got straight to business. I asked all relatives to give us some privacy, as I sat down with Nick’s parents to discuss the once unimaginable, burying Nick.

He went through it all so quickly, like we were holding him up from the next dead person. Flicking through the pages of his folder at lightning speed, caskets, flowers, rosary, burial, service.

Peppering his dialogue with enough Greek, that I could barely understand what he was saying. He spoke mostly to Nick’s parents.

I tried my best to get across what Nick would have wanted.

Nick had wanted someone to do a Eulogy, but in a Greek Orthodox church, this was something they would never make an exception for.

In the end, I resigned myself to the fact that it was only one day and it didn’t matter if it all didn’t go the way I thought he’d want.

It was only one day and I had 10 years of memories of Nick instead. He’d forgive me if this turned into a circus.

Again, I didn’t want to argue with anyone, especially Nick’s parents, who were already distraught and sensitive.

They needed my support and it wasn’t the time to shout, ‘he was my husband, I think I know what he wanted’, though some people may disagree with this.

I was respectful of Nick’s parents, and although I was hurting, they too had just lost their son and we were in this together.

The circus has come to town - part 2
Nick and his mum, always so close

To me, keeping quiet was also because I didn’t know much about the Greek Orthodox religion. Nick himself was not religious, but I knew his parents were, so I let them decide on the finer details.

In the back of my mind, I knew I’d continue with his birthday party celebrations as he wanted. That would be my chance to send him off, surrounded by loved ones, talking about their memories of him. (I’ve written about that in an earlier post here if you missed it.)

The funeral director asked us to get some clothes together for Nick, I went to our room and decided on his favourite jeans and jackets, that he had loved from his ‘skinny’ days.

His mum told me we couldn’t bury him in jeans, it had to be a suit. I hadn’t seen the email stating he wouldn’t get into heaven without one, but again, choosing my battles, I pulled out the suit we’d purchased when we’d baptised our daughter, being the only one that would fit him now.

And it was decided, Nick would be buried in his suit, at his family church.

In the same church, with the same priest that had baptised him, that had married us, and that had christened our daughter and would now officiate his funeral.

Nick’s time had now come full circle.

The circus has come to town - part 2
At a wedding in 2006

The funeral director had bought a couple of workers with him and they were to take Nick from the house to the funeral palour.

It was a tense time for us, though to them, there was very little emotion shown, they were just doing their job.

Everyone rushed to say their goodbyes to Nick, his mum didn’t want to let him go. I was calm, I gave him a final hug and kiss, but to me, he was already gone.

His body was cold, there was no signs of life left.

They lifted all 47kg’s of him onto a stretcher and then zipped him up in a blue body bag. I wasn’t prepared for that, the sight of my husband, the love of my life, the father of my child, being zipped away, like he was an extra on some crime show!

They rolled him down my driveway to the waiting car, neighbours obviously noticing something was up, all started to come over.

They walked slowly like zombies, getting closer, not quite sure what was happening.

And we all watched as they fittingly, put him into the back of a Toyota hi-ace van, and drove away. (On a side note, this was the only Toyota that Nick had never bought home!)

I’ll leave it there for now, thanks everyone for reading along and welcome to the new readers.

I’ll pick this up at the same time next week.

Keep sharing and commenting, I love hearing from you.

Til next week, Michela x

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