It’s not nice having to plan a funeral for your precious child. I guess that goes without saying and I won’t go into detail about the ins and outs. What I will say is that during the time we were planning Jude’s funeral we were constantly being surprised by the amount of people who tried to make things easier.
The priest (who 2 months prior we were out drinking with) who opened his door on Christmas Eve to find our wee diminished family on his doorstep and hugged us all closely before helping us piece together our next move. He already knew what had happened and he told us he was so glad that we’d come. We clearly had no idea what to do next and he very gently talked us through what had to happen.
The copy shop where we had the order of service printed. I’d asked for a quote for 300 copies on their best card and I told them I’d email the details of the printing later that day. When I went to collect them, they had cut the price to less than a quarter of the quote. I can only assume that when they saw what was to be printed they decided to do it at cost.
The newspaper announcement is free in my city when it’s a child.
The funeral director who sat patiently with us and talked about all our options. She was so kind and let us take our time with our decisions. Then the bill came in two weeks after the funeral all the costs were waived apart from the casket and that was only because we’d chosen the wicker one rather than standard white.
The hundreds of people who came to the funeral. I can’t say how much it meant to us to have the support of, not only the friends and family who are close to us, but so many friends I hadn’t seen since my school days, children and families that we’ve both taught and David’s football team who all showed up together in such a strong and supportive sign of solidarity with our family.
All of these things along with the visitors, food deliveries, flowers and cards from so many people (including a very personal one from the Cardinal which managed to stay away from preachy and stuck to compassion) have helped us to cope. There’s nothing that can take away the complete and absolute pain of living my life without Jude but the compassion and support from those around us helped me to cope in those bleak early days.
It’s a stark contrast from the support we’ve had from the medical profession but that’s another decidedly less positive post for another day.