And so one of the days I’d been dreading was over; Luke’s funeral was attended by hundreds of people and I think in a way we showed them a new way to ‘do’ a funeral; I hope people didn’t feel uncomfortable at wanting to laugh or smile; I do know Luke would have approved. Hundreds of people got to hear his music choice for one thing! The business of finding a ‘new normal’ could start. Although of course there was more to do yet; one thing I did with the help of the kids was to address the nightmare that was Luke’s bedroom. Oh my word the term sh*t hole was invented for that room, I’ve never seen anything like it; tidy and ordered were never words associated with that young man! Again in spite of the sadness and the horrible mess, there were moments that certainly made me smile. Luke was a member of the Army Cadets for a while; he was actually obsessed with ironing his creases into his shirts and trousers, he was also keen to have shiny boots. One bright spark told him to put polish on his boots and then set fire to it; now you might have a go at that, but Luke? He did it on the floor of his bedroom! Finding the shape of a boot in black on his carpet did make me smile. He’d decorated his bedroom not long before he went away, would he pay attention to detail? Nope, he painted around two pieces of furniture so when they were moved clearly the wall was still the original magnolia not the shade of green he’d picked. I still have the CD shelf he painted, it still makes me smile when i walk past it and see paint flecks on it! The bedroom door was mostly destroyed, Luke smoked and was forbidden to do so in the house; his way of hiding the fact? Was to tape up his door from the inside, oh my goodness such a dangerous thing to do! Never to be recommended! The result was that, yep the smoke didn’t emerge, but, it was a tad hard for Luke to emerge! The door was pretty badly damaged! I found all sorts of interesting things in the room, he had a fascination for martial arts and had a virtual library of information, I have no idea whose paper and printer he used, but he certainly used a lot of ink and a lot of paper! I found Luke’s King Babar, a hugely treasured soft toy, that elephant has the mark of being well loved. He has a place of honour on top of my wardrobe with my collection of teddy bears! (I can do girly).
As well as being a lover of music, if of slightly dubious taste at times! Luke was a real film buff, therefore in his pit of a bedroom he has one full wall that was basically made up of videos, stacked almost to the ceiling. I was mightily relieved to realise he had bothered to move them to paint! One quandary I think we all have when we lose a precious someone is what to do with their belongings. A huge part of me want keep every last thing my son had his hands on, the rest of me knew that was crazy! So, the local community and charity shops were inundated with videos, with Luke’s favourites still having house room now 5 years later in my new home! Not so incredibly useful when you don’t own a video player, but hey ho! One day I might make the effort to see if I can find one to watch them. Luke would have been totally enamoured of the likes of Netflix! We’d have never seen him!
When Luke came back from Thailand a fair few papers arrived with his belongings, I didn’t really have too much idea what a lot of them were. I certainly didn’t know that when a person dies abroad their death is registered in that country and not in England at all. I was waiting on a death certificate for nearly 11 months when the inquest was held. Only to be told that I’d had it all along. A note to the fairly useless Foreign Office here, why not send an explanatory leaflet to let people know that simple fact? It’s not the sort of thing we know! I think I’ve said previously that anger was a useful emotion that summer; at times others reactions made things very hard. We lived in a small community and most people were amazingly kind, with lovely words or a thoughtful hug; but a number clearly didn’t know how to cope and it wasn’t unusual to see people turn and walk in the opposite direction rather than have to acknowledge me. One thing I’d ask of you, if you know someone in a similar position? Don’t ignore their plight, you don’t need many words, just an acknowledgement, a ‘I’m sorry to hear’ or ‘Hope you’re doing ok’ will mean so much to them.
Enough serious stuff written for today, I’m going to leave you on this ‘episode’ with a funny story about the photo of Luke above. My Parents and I took Luke to Bude beach while on holiday, now remember what I said about Luke’s bedroom being so disgustingly dirty, you might notice that he has wellie boots on, on a beach?? That little boy, he was nearly 3, thought that sand was dirty! It was the only way we could get him to entertain going onto the beach. I’m pretty certain they were full of water within a short time. Goodness kids are weird! A smile making moment then, and the same now as I look at that photo. Lots of you will have seen my #365HappyDays this year hasn’t been an easy one, yet, without fail I’ve posted, there is always something you can find to make you smile, you just have to look for it, and appreciate simple pleasures. I hope some of my ‘stories’ have made you smile today 😄.
Nearly ready to move onto my ‘New Normal’ I promise