I destroyed myself on Tuesday, I pushed myself beyond any point that I have passed in the last few years. I was so determined to get those stupid pancakes done, that I went way beyond what I should have and I knew it with every single one that I placed in the pan and shaped. It is the first time for about 8 months that I have done this job alone. Normally, I make the dough, let it rise, them I cook the first half and then Adam the rest. Even that was a struggle the last time, so why I thought I could actually do it all alone, without some huge backlash, I don’t have the slightest idea. I was clearly in one of my stubborn modes, as there wasn’t a single reason why I couldn’t have gone to bed early, but no, even then I was still pushing myself.
Yesterday morning, even before the alarm sounded, that I was still tired. I had woken at 7 am, a point that I would have just stayed up normally, but after going to the loo, I returned to bed and fell asleep instantly. That is something that is not normal at all and I was amazed when the alarm actually sounded an hour and a half later. It even took me several attempts to pull my pyjamas on. I just couldn’t work out what was going so wrong, as I am so careful every night when I take them off, to leave them in such away, that there is nothing to think about at all, in the morning. I started by getting tied up in my top, it’s a simple drop it over my head design, but as soon as I tried to lean forward to put my trousers on, I knew it was wrong. It was on back to front and the back of the neck was cutting into my throat. I took it off, switched it around and put it back on, then it was the turn of my trousers. My luck was out there too, the first leg was fine, but when I tried to put my second leg in, it always landed up exactly where the first was. I eventually manage to work out that the elusive second leg was inside out and just flapping around. When I reached the living room, I turned the TV on and in its first light, I discovered my top was on inside out, the final proof of just exactly how awake I was.
It was a struggle to get through the first half of the day. Telling myself that I was fine, that I was going to catch up with all the things I had missed the day before and that I would be just fine. I did manage to actually fool myself for a while, but the truth soon took over and I had to admit it. I had been destroyed and that Adam had been right last night when he said that in future, he would do the whole job for me. Yet another thing that I have to hand over to him, yet another thing that I’m not capable of doing. This isn’t laziness, this is just a fact of the illnesses that I live with. I am not up to doing the basically simple job, of makes psyllium pancakes or anything else really. I must stop calling them pancakes, as they are in fact more a griddle cake, just a rather thin one. Whatever the name, it’s another job ticked off as impossible for me to do alone any longer, without destroying myself. Even now, I’m still wiped out, my whole body objecting to just being awake and upright. But I’m still pigheaded, even when I feel like a shadow of my normal self.
I have at last managed to get 4 quotes for the cost of my funeral. I have been shocked by the differences in prices, along with their persistence of trying to push me into taking more than I want. I know that I shouldn’t really be surprised, as after all they are businesses that require to make money. The most expensive one, for just the cremation here in Glasgow, not including transport for my ashes to Aberdeen or the internment in my son’s grave, is £2700. The cheapest, which include all of my wishes and the transport of my ashes to Aberdeen, but not the cost of opening the ground, their getting that for me, is just £1000. Business or not, the difference is incredible and I actually find, unexplainable and ridiculous. The cheapest company didn’t just supply a good cost, they also took the time to read my email in detail and to answer all my questions. Unlike some, that simply tried to push me into one of their plans, which was miles away from what I was looking for. Clearly like everything else in life, even our death is worth shopping around, before we make any decision.
I had thought in the past of taking out one of those insurance plans that are constantly advertised on the TV. You know the ones that say are suitable for those who are 50 plus, and that you don’t need a medical. They may mean that you leave the cash for your funeral, but if you don’t know what those costs are, how do you know just how much, to pay in. Personally, I would recommend doing things this way around instead. It doesn’t only mean all the costs are covered, but you can make all the arrangments down to the tiny things, that you want. Then when you do die, all your partner needs to do, is make one phone call, and everything is actioned. No hassle, no not knowing what to do, who to turn to, if you have the funds required. It’s all removed and it’s all done. At worst, there might be a small sum on top, for the increased costs, that everything has over time, but my up-front payment is invested in a fund, that should cover the worst of the increases and it’s not going to bankrupt him, or leave him, even more, distressed and lost.
I have decided that once I have all the details sorted out with the funeral director, that I will put together an envelope containing them all, the funeral plan to be redeemed for their payment, the plot deeds and two letters I want to be sent to my family once I am gone. Everything in one place along with a list of the legal steps that Adam will have to take, as I have discovered over the last few days, there are several of those as well, but everything will be there, in one place. I honestly believe now, that it doesn’t matter what our wishes are, we all should do this, even if you are just 20 years old and don’t expect it to happen for years. It’s really not fair, to leave it to someone else. The simple fact that I have this process on the way, to my surprise, actually feels good and feels right. I would go as far as saying that I feel better in myself, because I know I am doing the right thing, not just for me, but for Adam and my daughter Teressa as after all, they are the ones who will be left behind. Once done, we can all get on with doing what we’re here for, living.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 28/01/2014 – Knowing me
I woke this morning for some reason the closest to being awake than I have felt for a very long time now. I wasn’t jumping and hopping across the room or anything silly like that, I just felt reasonably refreshed as you would…..
Another great piece of writing, you are certainly making me look seriously into my own funeral plan and the options available. I never even knew you could do it your way without a plan, seems a far better way to go forward. Thanks
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It’s really worth it. I don’t know where you are, but I would imagine if you look around, you will find a service similar to the one I have found here in Glasgow.
Shopping around isn’t just about the money either. It’s like so many things in life, finding the firm you connect with and are willing to take those extra steps you want. I’m so glad I started this, as I honestly feel better about the whole thing.
When my step-son died suddenly, I was the one who made all the arrangements, from 2500 miles away. You can just imagine what this stress did to my Parkinson’s symptoms! My husband and his sister were too distraught to do anything, and didn’t know what he wanted, but I did. He and I had discussed what my husband and I wanted when we died and he in turn told me his wishes. I encountered the same type situations here in the USA. He died in a different part of the state from where he lived, about 75 miles away. Most companies made a huge deal about retrieving his body. They insisted he must be embalmed, by law, even though he did not want a viewing and wanted to be cremated. I finally found a company that said the others were bull-sh*ting me. They said embalming was not necessary. They made arrangements to get his body, allowed his girlfriend, sister and nephew a chance to see and say goodbye to him, cut off some locks of his hair and mailed them to me, cremated him, shipped half his ashes to another state to be interred with his Mother, and gave the rest to his sister. They answered all my calls, even though there was a 3 hour time difference and even if it was after hours. They always called him by his first name, like he was a friend of theirs. And they were about 1/4 of the cost of the other places. Finding these people was a God send for me and my family.
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It is wrong that we have to search for them, but I am sure, that amongst all the money grabbers, there are good egg. I can only guess that the rest are banking on those left behind to be too distraught to want to shop around and that they will just accept what they say. Apart from getting what we want, down to the smallest detail, it’s another good reason to have it all arranged before we go.