Who knew that organising a funeral could be so exhausting? Well, I did it seven years ago for my husband, but this one for my mother has seemed twice as time-consuming, but maybe I'm getting older or this time it was not for my "spouse", which makes everything more complicated.
For the last three weeks I have been beetling away organising, organising and, well, organising. What with appointing the funeral directors, planning the Order of Service, liaising with the vicar (my mother was low-key religious, but religious nonetheless), making our own Order of Service programmes and printing them, ordering flowers, organising food for the reception afterwards, informing people and inviting them. ... The list goes on.
In tandem with that I was informing utilities and banks, building societies and Uncle Tom Cobley that my mother was dead. Then there was probate. Ah, probate. A word I have heard but never bothered to define. It seems to manage anyone's financial affairs, you need probate. And before you can seek a grant of probate, you need to fill in an inheritance tax form, even if you don't actually need one. And before you can get that, you have to have certified proof of the deceased's financial situation on the date of death from all of the financial institutions involved including property valuations from a bona fide estate agent. That list goes on too.
So for three weeks I have been on an administrative treadmill. The funeral was yesterday. All my planning came to a successful head and I was complimented on what a lovely service and wake it was. It was fair to say by last night I was well and truly pooped, cream-crackered, with the stuffing taken out of me. Once home, I fell asleep on the sofa at 7pm for Christ's sake. That is so not me.
There is still much to do to wind up my mother's affairs, but I guess the pace will be a tad slower. To be fair, it is also helping to distract me. For the last six months I had been visiting my poorly mother on a daily basis, so it has been a considerable adjustment not to be doing that all of a sudden. It's probably just as well I have something to distract me until I find my feet again.