It’s been a busy week. The whole thing was centred around Friday, which was the funeral for my mother-in-law, Lorraine. There were separate events and locations for the burial, church celebration of her life, and refreshments. The whole thing was planned meticulously by my wife, Hannah, and her sister Laura.
I don’t think Lorraine could have asked for a better send-off, with around 100 people paying their respects, and the overall feeling being one of celebrating a life well-lived but sadly curtailed. I was proud of Hannah for the joint eulogy she gave, and my son, Ben, for the short reading he did. Having given a eulogy before, I know how difficult that can be.
We live in Northumberland, the other end of the country to where Lorraine lived and was laid to rest. It’s a long drive and, thankfully, the roads were relatively clear on Thursday as we travelled down. We’re staying at a place we’ve stayed a few times before — at a small wooden cottage built by friends of my father-in-law. It’s in an idyllic location.
The previous three days from Monday to Wednesday I spent doing a lot of work with and for Julie’s Bicycle, a pioneering not-for-profit mobilising the arts and culture to take action on the climate and ecological crisis. As a collaboration between my home co-op, WAO, and Outlandish, we’re helping them with some development of their tools as well as overall strategy.
I’m looking forward to a full week off work while down here in Devon. There’s always stuff to be done and things to be organised but, as deaths in the family all too poignantly illustrate, life goes on whether you’re there or not.
So next week, I’m going to be reading, drinking, and playing games with my family and my sister-in-law’s family. Hopefully the weather should be good, and we can spend time decompressing after a pretty intense few weeks.
Image taken of a wheat field during a family walk near Gittisham, Devon.