I said no, most firmly and decisively, and got the first of many monstrous slaps from Granddad for my trouble!
In the end I settled for beta-blockers; just for a few days either side of the funeral. That worked really well and was the right decision as I don’t think that I could have coped totally unaided.
A funeral, when you feel like you are the star of the show, is a nightmare. You think that everybody is looking at you hoping that you are not going to create a scene by exhibiting excessive signs of grief. Some sorrow is fine, even a few tears are allowed, but nothing more thanks very much!
The Hearse, followed by a short convoy of posh black cars, arrived at exactly the predicted time of 11:25. Then what seemed to me to be very close to a “one size fits all” service was taken by a vicar who didn’t know Mum and Dad at all. My parents were both science teachers, they were secular and proud of it. They wouldn’t have wanted a religious service but since they couldn’t speak out and since I hadn’t been asked that is exactly what happened.
The only personalised part was when I stood at the front and spoke just for a couple of minutes about how good Mum and Dad had been as parents. I felt that almost the entire audience were just waiting for me to break down but thanks to the beta blockers I managed to say all that I wanted to say.
Little did I realise that Nan and Granddad were simply furious that I had “shown off” (Nan’s words) by doing this eulogy. It wasn’t long before they got their revenge.