Finding words and funeral planning

Rog and Sam

I’ve been struggling this week I have to say. I know there are no set stages of grief but I definitely think I’ve passed quickly through the ‘slightly relieved the pain is over’ phase into the ‘so sad I really miss you’ phase and all the rest. To say I’ve felt teary is a massive understatement and where I haven’t been able to wear mascara for months, tonight I’m wondering whether I should give the contact lenses a break as my tears keep pushing them round the side of my eye!

As well as feeling lost, empty and sad, I’m trying to get my head around organising my husband’s funeral and trying to write something to be read out on the day.

On my first attempt I sat in front of the computer for hours, trying to write one of the hardest things I hope I will ever have to do. I wanted to write something worthy, beautiful and reflective, something which would do such a great man justice, but every time I try to get my thoughts down I can’t see for tears and my words don’t come out right at all.

I know I don’t have to write anything (Roger told me that), but I just feel I need to. Not just for me, but to fill the gap that would have been filled by his own thoughts. Two days before he passed away, he decided he’d like to write something for the chaplain George to read at his funeral.

It was a fairly last minute and casual decision, we were chatting to George about what the service usually includes and wondering who, if anyone, would be able to read something out as a tribute.

Rog said he would write something, but just wasn’t up to it in those last few days, and we never even spoke about what he wanted to say. So here I am, trying to second guess his thoughts, and wondering what he’d tell his friends when they were so sad to lose him. I hope I’m up to the job.


We are fortunate in a way (maybe not the right word, I know) because we did manage to talk about the funeral together in the week before he died.

Roger wanted to try to organise things to make it easier for me when the worst happened, and although he got the ball rolling, he or I never thought at the time he was so close to the end. There are so many decisions to be made and I’m glad Roger had a say in how the service will be. I would have been a nervous wreck otherwise, wondering whether I’d made the right choices or not.

Such a modest man, he’d previously said he wanted the minimum of fuss, a short service at the crematorium as there ‘wouldn’t be that many people there anyway’. ‘Not many people there? Are you kidding?,’ I said. I think he really did underestimate how many people would want to come and pay their respects, and it took the funeral director to point out that any service for a younger person always meant a lot of mourners would come.

He decided on a church service, partly because he’d got to know the hospice chaplain pretty well over the past few months and liked the idea that the service would be taken by someone who knew him and our family. As for music, he wanted two hymns, one being Morning Has Broken, because of its message of rebirth and renewal, and the other – well he was trying to remember the name of that one the day before he died. Hopefully I can pick one that he would have liked.

Where some of the decisions have already been made, I’ve still been feeling understandably overwhelmed by the whole thing. It’s quite a big ask to start arranging a funeral when you’re so tired and still haven’t really taken in what’s happened. I’ve never been the best event planner, but I just want this to be exactly right.

For those who would like to attend, Roger’s funeral service will be held on Monday 10 August at St Luke’s Methodist Church in Hoylake, at 12.45pm. A service will take place at the crematorium beforehand for family members.

We are asking for people not to send flowers to the service but anyone who would like to make a donation to Wirral St John’s Hospice in Roger’s name can do so on the day or via Just Giving. Thank you so much.

x Julia

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  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville
    August 4, 2015 at 2:08 am

    I can not even begin to imagine how difficult planning a funeral for your husband must be, my heart and thoughts are with you. Being in Australia I won’t be there on the day, but know I am praying for you and your two little darlings.
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…Sold #mummy & usMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Gosh Julia, I have tears running down my face for you. I cannot even begin to fathom how you are coping or dealing with things right now. If I was near you I would come and give you a big hug. I totally admire your strength and power to be brave, for your children, for Rog.
    Lots of love to you sweetie. Xx

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Stay strong. Xx

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Jules whatever you do it’ll be perfect and Rog would be so proud of you. Keep going lovely x

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Whatever you do or don’t say will be right. There are no right or wrong things to say so just talk from your heart.

  • Reply
    Potty Mouthed Mummy
    August 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

    I just cannot comprehend how it must all feel for you right now but I commend you so much for planning to write and say something. It will be a beautiful credit to Rog and I am sure you will exceed any expectations he or you might have had. You write beautifully and I have no doubt the right words will come. As ever sending much love to you xx
    Potty Mouthed Mummy recently posted…When Your Three Year Old Son Wants a Toy GunMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    August 4, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Oh lovely. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to plan your beloved husband’s funeral. Whatever you write or plan will make Rog proud. He will be proud of the way you are coping. Of the fact that you are still blogging through the pain. And the fact that you are still an amazing mother and generous and caring friend even though your heart is splintering. You are constantly in my thoughts and I am sending you all the love in the world. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…My monthly bucket list – August 2015My Profile

  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Whatever you write, Julia, will be touching and fitting, I’m sure. It was lovely (in a slightly macabre sort of way) that Roger at least had some input into his own funeral arrangements. I can only imagine how difficult the day will be for all three of you, but I hope you will enjoy the support of lots of friends and family and that it becomes a day of remembrance and joy for what was as much as sorrow for what might have been.

    It’s such a tragedy when someone so young passes away. I attended the funeral of one of my own university friends a few years back – he was 38 – and it was an emotional experience, lots of sadness tinged with happy memories, which I’ve written about several time since. He had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour less than a year previously so we knew his time would be short, but not as short as it turned out to be. He also left two children behind, a couple of years older than yours.

    I’ll pop over to the JustGiving page now and make a small donation. Hope all goes well on Monday.
    Tim recently posted…When little days are the best daysMy Profile

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    August 4, 2015 at 5:00 pm


  • Reply
    August 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Dear Julia my heart goes to you at this very sad time. I don’t know if this will help you but when my lovely son Malcolm died I did my talk as a letter to him. I said all the things I couldn’t say to him as he died so suddenly but I also shared my memories of the nearly 35 years that I was privileged to be his mother. When I spoke it was just to him so that I didn’t feel I needed to look at anybody although I was able to look up when I shared the happy memories and the funny moments. My sense of pride of having done it kept me strong through the rest of the time I was with people that day but I did slip off for time on my own when I felt overwhelmed.
    Rosemary (Lindsey’s Mum)

  • Reply
    Sophie @ Mum, M & More
    August 4, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    You are a true inspiration xx
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    You Baby Me Mummy
    August 4, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Oh Julia I cannot imagine what you all must be going through. You don’t need me to tell you this is so desperately sad and my heart hurts for your loss. I know you will find the right words and you will write something beautiful for Rog, without doubt. Stay strong you amazing inspirational lady xxx

  • Reply
    Honest mum
    August 5, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Sending you so much love and strength Julia, Rog sounds like an incredible man and I know you will find the words, much love to you all xx
    Honest mum recently posted…Being Honest: A Traumatic BirthMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    August 5, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Beautiful post as always, even at the toughest of times. You will find a way, and I know you’ll give Roger a fantastic send off. Sending love and strength your way xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Some things I have learnt in my 36 YearsMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    My heart goes out to you and the kiddies chick…your precious husband passing far to soon…will be thinking of you and your dear family on Monday…lots of love xXx

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    August 8, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Always thinking of you beautiful lady and will be especially on Monday. I am always here for you. Sensing so much love and strength at this incredibly emotional and hard time. You are an amazing person inside and out and such an incredible mummy. Say strong beautiful. Rog will be so proud of you. xxxx
    Kat | Beau Twins recently posted…Creating A Work Life Balance As A Single MumMy Profile

  • Reply
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum)
    August 9, 2015 at 9:29 am

    You know I think you are an amazing lady and whatever you write will be perfect. The way you have blogged throughout the pain and bereavement is incredible and I am sat here with teary eyes. Your two beautiful children must be a huge help to keep you company and getting you through each day. Stay strong! Tomorrow will be so, so hard. I will be thinking of you loads. Go give Rog the send off he deserves! Lots of love xx
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…10 Reasons My Daughter Loves TravelMy Profile

  • Reply
    August 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

    I can not read and run, no matter how much I really want to. I can not and dare not imagine the pain. What ever the words are they will be perfect as they are from your heart.
    Jen recently posted…5 great ways to lower your energy bills and save moneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Megan - truly madly kids
    August 9, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    You two knew each other so well, I am sure whatever you say will be just right. He did himself justice by just being him, your words will merely add to what a great person people already think he is.

    I will be thinking you, Sam and Flo tomorrow, and sending towers of strength. Much love, my friend xxx
    Megan – truly madly kids recently posted…Marshmallow FlingingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Red Rocks and Hilbre Island - Rainbeaubelle
    December 3, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    […] the funeral tomorrow, and it’s nice to be able to think of these memories and focus on calmer, peaceful […]

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