Sunday, October 05, 2008


I have moved out of my hermit phase, at last, and am now trawling the roads with Clio, the lovely wee car. I even went visiting the Pollok mob today and turned back into the wonderful sister-in-law I used to be; picking people up, dropping them off, chatting to small great nephews and neices - taking part in this life. A fabulous day wrapped itself around me: we gossipped, laughed, complemented, lied and were forced to keep crying at bay; the crying will have to wait for the funeral.

A sister-in-law died last night. She's been fighting cancer all year but it brought her down in a real hurry. I didn't know she was ill, and we're all feeling guilty because we thought time was infinite and that she'd always be there - no-one had given the cancer any importance. She was only forty-six. Like me, she was an ex-sister-in-law; the family can't get rid of the ex-wives the brothers collect. In this family, you're included from the beginning and you stay as long as you want, but you're always family, and the children multiply like rabbits.

I really hate funerals and am not a death-visitor in general; I've got to be very attached to attend them these days - there have been far too many in my life. So, we're glad of the two extra drivers and cars of the past week; I just got my wee Clio on Wednesday and a sister-in-law, Sid, just passed her driving test, so she's running around in her Micra now, free as a bird - well one with a husband and two kids!

And now we wait. I don't think we're in full-death-throes; the usual search for mass-black-suits for the boys and black ties. One year I had to make a dozen black ties; we were too poor to buy them. I suppose some of them will leak out of cupboards. I think we're saving the hysterics for the day of the service; usually the first sight of a hearse and we're off. God I hate crying in public. I just hate crying; I want to make peace, make everything and everyone better. The years fly by and the deaths pile up; we've had four years free of them, something had to give.


Anne Brooke said...

So sorry to hear about the ex sister-in-law. So very young. Sending love & hugs to you, and hope things are as okay as they might be at this stage.


ireneintheworld said...

thanks anne. funny you should be the first to read/comment on this post; her name was anne too. x

BetteJo said...

It's rare that I go to a funeral or a wake, my family is all too spread out and not too close emotionally either. Still, it's always hard to do. Sorry it's your turn.

ireneintheworld said...

funny how funerals and wakes change when you get older; maybe it's because our path there is getting shorter! x