Hello! I know I have been a bit quiet over here, of late.
But ya know, Dad passed away and even though we all expected it, it’s really taken the wind out of my usually hoisted main sail.

(Here’s a little pic circa 1974, of us all on Constantine Bay, in our beloved Cornwall)
I do have a list of blog posts that I am excited to write, but somehow, nothing feels appropriate just yet.
So, Dad’s funeral is this week. He passed away on December 28th. I don’t recommend you pass away over the Christmas hols…it appeared there was somewhat of a queue…if you get my drift.
Looking on the bright side though, it means that we have had time to really plan his funeral well, and add a few lovely personal touches to the Order of Service (I must stop calling it a ‘programme’)
And it has given me a whole heap of time to write a eulogy that I hope he would be proud of.
Writing a eulogy is a really hard job, isn’t it. I feel the responsibility to him, for getting it right, and to our family and friends, for remembering him properly, and massively to myself for not messing it up on the day. I know everyone will be kind about it, but I REALLY don’t want to sob my way through it. Anyway, it ruins your makeup, sobbing.
I decided, that I owe it to everyone there, to read it properly, clearly, and even look up and smile if I can & I have a cunning plan or two. I need glasses for reading but can’t see a thing if I look up while wearing them. So I’ll make sure I wear them to see the words clearly, and the congregation will be just a blur.
I have concocted a few other strategies too. You see in another life, I’d have been a jet set air stewardess for Virgin Atlantic (based on the shoes, obvs) and as cabin crew, it’s your job to remain calm and unflustered even if you don’t feel it, right? I keep a very beady eye on the stewardesses – if they are calm, I am too. If they were to show even so much as a hint of a fluster, that’s it! I am checking for the nearest exit (because obviously I wasn’t paying attention and was engrossed in the in-flight mag when we were being shown that stuff…. I mean, I NEED Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream, the MOMENT we take off. Even if the smell is somewhat disappointing and it goes on like axle grease. The fact is, I only need it, because the magazine has already warned me that by the time we land we shall all be dried up old husks with out it. OMG you’re right! I hope there’s not a shortage. It’s now an emergency…etc etc… You see.) Anyway, back to my eulogy..
So I am going to be the air stewardess, and keep calm and unflustered. My passengers might be nervous, but I am going to get them down, safely. We won’t even need any emergency tubes of 8 Hour Cream.
Also, now it’s written, I am reading it over and over and over, to try to desensitize myself to the bits my voice catch on. And write myself silly words in the margin to get myself over the hump. I think I am getting there.
Writing it drew a blank for a while. Dad had Parkinson’s dementia with Lewy Body Syndrome. And had been in a care home for 5 years. He was so lost to us and had been, for so long, that I didn’t know where to start.
I found that by searching back to when we were young, really helped. And even further back than that. I asked friends and family about their memories, and Mum had some fab snippets sent to her in some of the condolence cards. Bit by bit, Dad started to come back to me, and suddenly I had more than enough to write about. It was a very healing thing to do, which came as a surprise!
Also, it definitely helped to have a little google of some famous ones ( Charles Spencer at Diana’s funeral – gets me every time And his voice was a bit ragged with emotion, and I suspect, nerves, but he did it! We all understood every word, loud and clear)
I gave Gav’s Dad’s eulogy last summer, and have decided that as terrifying as it was, and no matter how hard it hurt to write, being asked to do it was an honour. And it’s good for you! (not least because you’re not dead) (FYI I got through it, without crying, everyone clapped, {which was weird, and nice in equal measure – clapping in church? are you allowed to do that?} and then I saw my Mum and promptly burst in to tears… hashtag last minute fail)
I had practiced it over and over and over again, until every emotion I could possibly feel, had been felt. Every little trap had been noted, and even the tiniest word, the tiniest most unassuming word or sentence was unpicked and checked for bombs. Then I could concentrate on reading it with the feeling it deserved. Nothing worse than a monotone. Except a sobbing monotone, maybe.
I think laughter is also important. We all know why we are there, and it’s the saddest thing in the world. Nothing anyone can do or say can make it better. But to allow laughter, is also allowing someone to make a noise. One that perhaps can’t stay strangled in a throat for too much longer. So laugh or cry, I want to allow everyone a time to make any noise they want. And my Dad would heartily approve of laughter.
I read an article online and I quote ‘In any good eulogy, there are moments of panic. Silences, laughter in the wrong places. Moments when the speaker gets choked up…these moments are why you learn to pause’
I know I have a couple of moments of panic in there, but trust me, if you are coming, I will get you down safely. Light and shade. Lots of light. And a few pauses. Don’t worry about the pauses, they are strategically placed and I will be turning the page and trying to keep steady at that point. Keeping our little world in that moment, in that church, firmly on its axis.
I have printed the whole thing off, a new page where I need a pause. Even the spelling and grammar is laid out to make it easy for me. (explanation as such – I find the word ‘tradgedy’ really hard to say (don’t laugh) so I have spelled it out in capitals TRA JED EE. see? makes perfect sense to me haha)
If anyone wants to read his eulogy I don’t mind posting it. There’s a lovely passage at the end which is a sort of Pooh Bear mash up of lots of quotes and part of a story I found on Pinterest. The Vicar has asked for it so he can pass it on to others, so I am more than happy to share it if anyone is interested. Pooh Bear knew alot about alot didn’t he.
So- if you have to write one for someone you love, I hope I might have given you a few pointers. And I know it doesn’t really matter if I cry, it’s just that I’d rather not. So don’t be thinking you can’t cry. You can.
I think my next post will be outfit related, and I shall share the whole hoo haa of what to wear to such a sad occasion. Already I know it will be entitled ‘Every Cloud Has a Cashmere Lining’ …So you can kind of guess my mojo is returning.
Thanks for reading
Love

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40 Thoughts on Writer’s Block.
    Cheryl
    30 Jan 2017
    7:21pm

    Beautiful and bravely written Sal, I’m sure you will do your dad proud ?

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:46pm

      There’s plenty of humour so I think he’d like it. He always saw the funny side of things, even if it was inappropriate haha. I hope I’ll do him proud xxx

    Jessica
    30 Jan 2017
    7:25pm

    A lovely, lovely, lovely, lovely post. Hope all goes well on the day xxx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:44pm

      Thankyou so so much xxx I’ll keep you posted ???

    Caroline Martin
    30 Jan 2017
    7:41pm

    You’re amazing Sally. What a helpful post. I know it would have been enormously helpful when we wrote our dads eulogy last year! My brave sister read dads and everytime she looked up we were willing her on and she didn’t cry! It’s a sad time but it’s also a time to remember our lovely dads. You’re so right, sorting through all the photos does bring them back to life and that’s how they’d like to be remembered! Your dad would be so proud of you! Xx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:43pm

      Thankyou Caroline – and well done to your sister !! ? I’m so sorry you lost your Dad xxxx

    Kate
    30 Jan 2017
    7:48pm

    Love this and loved chatting it through earlier. But must just say about the outfit – are there spiral steps up to a pulpit to read as there were for me?? Strappy sandals nearly caused huge disaster, but luckily you aren’t in strappy sandal season!! Phew! Xx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:41pm

      Omg I hope I’m not up in the pulpit !!! Haven’t planned for that !!! ????

    Jan
    30 Jan 2017
    8:00pm

    This made me smile and brought a tear. I hope that when the time comes for me to be in this situation I can be half as positive and brave. The right words don’t come easily to me, I’m always thinking and pondering and re-writing umpteen times, in umpteen different ways! I would be so honoured to read something so personal if ever you do decide to share it. Thinking of you all and hoping that such a special day goes well in every way. I know you will do your dear dad proud and he will be with you always x

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:40pm

      Thankyou so kindly, Jan ? i must admit I keep going back to it and have to stop myself from messing with it ? I’ve had a month to prepare so I’m ready as I’ll ever be xx ??

    Kathy
    30 Jan 2017
    8:00pm

    Lovely words. don’t know you or your dad, sorry for your loss and hope you read well!! X

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:38pm

      Keep everything crossed until further notice ! ???

    kathy crozier
    30 Jan 2017
    8:18pm

    Sally, I don’t know you very well as I have just started following you on instagram the last couple of months. Through your posts and photos I can see you have a great sense of humor and are such a genuine kind person. You have a lovely soul. You’re Dad must have been very proud to have you as his daughter. Such a lovely, thoughtful post. I have no doubt you will do your dad proud.
    Kathy

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      8:38pm

      Kathy Thankyou for taking the time to read it xxxx I’m always surprised when people do ?? lots of love xxx

    Courtney
    30 Jan 2017
    8:51pm

    Loved this Sally- as always you can still make me snort – even when I was trying not to tear up at the same time!!!!
    I’m sure it will all go swimmingly- and if all else fails just pick the most unattractive person in the congregation and imagine them starkers!!!!!!! Xxx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      11:47pm

      ???? I’ll bear it in mind ! ????

        Carole
        31 Jan 2017
        6:23pm

        I did my dad’s whole funeral service when he died, as I didn’t want some stranger doing it. (It’s a bit like handing your newborn baby over?) Noone can care as much as you right? Anyway he died of Luey Body dementia too…and I am Cabin crew…but no red heels. ( every other colour though!!) I am sure you will be absolutely brilliant. It’s the last thing you can do for them, after they have done a lifetimes of everything for you? I got all mine down safely too….Didn’t bother pointing out the emergency exits, as the main man had already jumped ship ? and I got applause too, weird….but a wave of proud washed over me. You sound like you would have made a fab trolly dolly….Happy Landings for the day ????

          GettingStuffDoneInHeels
          31 Jan 2017
          6:28pm

          You made me go goosebumps ! Just the most lovely message to read ! Are you sure we aren’t best friends in real life ??? ?

    Louise
    30 Jan 2017
    9:04pm

    Beautiful post Sal! Made me laugh & cry, you’ll be perfect on the day and I look forward to the outfit post ?????
    All my love ???

    Vicky
    30 Jan 2017
    9:23pm

    Such a lovely piece Sal. Good luck this week, sorry to hear about your Dad. I know you will be great and everyone will be willing you on. Xx

    Kate
    30 Jan 2017
    9:47pm

    Lovely words Sally, I’m so sorry for your loss. I follow your Instagram, your posts have such warmth and humour. I lost my Dad suddenly and totally unexpectedly on 22 December, we are struggling to make sense of it. Thinking of you x

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      11:48pm

      Omg Kate how terrible I’m so so sorry ? crumbs, sending you lots of love and big useless hugs xxxxx?

    Jo Munson
    30 Jan 2017
    9:56pm

    Beautiful, hang on to your memories as they now become treasures. Great photo, we went on family holidays to Constantine Bay, used to love the Radio 1 roadshows. Thank you for bringing that memory back. Warmest wishes, take care, Jo xx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      11:49pm

      Still one of our fav places! Gorgeous there, isn’t it ????

    Jonathan W
    30 Jan 2017
    10:14pm

    That’s a lovely and very touching post Sally.
    I’d love to read what you have written.
    Jonathan W. x

    Louise
    30 Jan 2017
    10:30pm

    My dad died at Easter and there was quite a queue then… ?
    Lovely words and sentiment: I love your old holiday photo – beautiful and simple, no words needed. Best wishes X

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      30 Jan 2017
      11:50pm

      Oh crumbs I’m so sorry to hear that – I hope you are all ok ?? it’s all pants isn’t it xxx lots of love xxx

    Elle
    31 Jan 2017
    12:00am

    Truly inspirational ….thank you for sharing safe landing x

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      5:13pm

      Fastening my seatbelt xxx ?

    Lisa
    31 Jan 2017
    7:18am

    Beautifully written piece Sally. It must be such a difficult thing to do, but as you say, going back over old memories has brought your real dad back to you. Hope all goes well on the day….what is it Dolly Parton says in Steel Magnolias…’Laughter through tears…my favourite emotion’ . Something like that. Anyway, sending love and strength. Lisa xx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      5:12pm

      Thankyou lovely ??

    Caroline
    31 Jan 2017
    10:17am

    Sally my I adored my father but he died sadly when I was only 13 and it was felt at the time that I was too young to face going to the funeral. How I wish I had been allowed to go and say goodbye. You will cry, you may even laugh but you will have some sort of closure. I wish you the very best, I’ll be thinking of you ? Xx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      5:12pm

      Oh my goodness that must be so hard for you now. I wasn’t allowed to go to my grandfather’s funeral when I was 10 and it plays on my mind even now. And it was your Dad ? I really really feel for you xxx ????

    Carole
    31 Jan 2017
    6:52pm

    Sally, sweetie, darling, (we can never remember anyone’s name) you can share my jumpseat anytime, doors to manual dad…..?? ?

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      6:57pm

      Best offer I’ve had all day !

    BrickKilnHouse
    31 Jan 2017
    9:35pm

    Oh Sally what a beautiful read – you made me smile and cry ? I hope all goes well for you gorgeous lady; no parachute required. Big hugs ???

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      9:43pm

      Thankyou Sally xx cabin doors to manual xxx

    Joanna.
    31 Jan 2017
    11:37pm

    Will be thinking of you Sally , I think you will be just fine, much love to you , your mum and all the family ??? xxx

      GettingStuffDoneInHeels
      31 Jan 2017
      11:38pm

      Crumbs I hope you’re right xxx & Thankyou ????

    Paula
    3 Feb 2017
    4:42pm

    Gosh – you have an amazing ability to simultaneously bring a smile to the lips whilst bringing a tear to the eye – and that’s what funerals should be about, a celebration of life as well as a mourning of a passing. I’m sure that your Father would be very proud. Best wishes and I hope that it all goes/went well. xx

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