My wife's mother has just died none covid related at the age of 94. When arranging the funeral we have come up against covid rules and regulations.
I came across a poem that captures the feelings of participating in a funeral during these stressful times. when all you can get is a zoom session.
chasing ceremony/convincing myself
by Hollie McNish
i’ll not get to your funeral.
i know you’ll not make mine.
you hate the fussing anyway.
your favourite colour’s yellow
on your street, when next door died
too soon before you did
neighbours clapped the passing hearse
as if the corpse were on a royal tour
you turned towards your daughters
don’t you dare do that for me
hair cradled into rollers
each night until the night you left
still lifting life with curls
the laws do not allow me
to stand and watch a lifetime
exit puppet-show-sized curtains
as tears try to console each other
two metres apart;
the only good things
are the sandwich platters
and we can’t even have those
so i’ll celebrate you here
three hundred miles from home
wear that butter-coloured jumper
you once said made me pretty
wallow in self-pity
as if your loss is all my loss
let lips tremble all they want
eyes swell to embarrassed red
too obvious a grief to meet with any friends
even with the recommended
coffin space between us
no need for all that, huh?
who cares about it, right?
i already said i love you
so many times in life:
each time i said i love you;
each postcard that i sent;
each nightie that you lent me;
each evening that we wasted
watching prerecords of countdown
at a volume that i’m almost sure
has pierced some of my eardrum;
in refining just that splash of milk
to slightly hint your tea with
till you looked inside the cup again
and smiled, and said that’s perfect