Earlier this week I celebrated both my mother and my grandmother’s birthdays, by visiting them at the Garden of Rememberence. I have done this every year since Granny passed away and of course more recently when Mum also passed on.
It’s been a little tradition of mine ever since my early 20’s to visit mum and gran with flowers on their birthdays. No matter where I lived at the time I would travel to see them on their birthdays (they share the same date thankfully) with flowers for them both.
This trip, however, was a bit more stressful than I anticipated. Upon arrival, the crematorium itself was under heavy reconstruction. As I don’t live in the area, I had no idea it was closed for a (badly needed and long overdue) refurbishment, so getting access to the garden itself wasn’t easy. The garden is behind the building, which was covered in scaffolding and workmen.
Johnny and I took the longer route around the side of the gardens to reach the family plot, though I admit my anxiety was creeping in by now at the thought we might not get access. As I live in another city from where they rest, it takes about 45 mins to reach there by train and then a solid 15 walk from the station. The trains themselves only come every 35 mins (if you’re lucky) so it’s not the easiest of journeys.
We spotted 2 other visitors so we knew we could reach the gardens. Buy upon arrival I was somewhat thrown off; they have changed the plot numbers. Thankfully I have been coming here long enough to know the general area, but I no longer knew THEIR plot. I stood there, trying to gather up as much as I could to get the correct number (it’s not a clear system and a totally different set of numbers from previous) so I could leave the flowers and have a moment with them both.
I couldn’t concentrate at all, I was more anxious and angry at all this disruption that I couldn’t really gather my thoughts and news for my family. I normally have a little cry, I miss them both and this is the closest I get to either of them now. But I couldn’t, I was so unsettled that I just couldn’t feel like I was there.
Last time I visited it was 2 days after my wedding, when I left my bouquet for them and told them about my big day.
I had so much to tell them this time around and instead I was too busy stressing out about where I laid the flowers and the new numbers. I left feeling angry and worst of all, like I didn’t get to talk to them.
I know this will come to pass, I will read back over this and think I’m an eejit (I’m feeling that way already and that’s just after proofreading) but it really feels like I let them down this year.
I’ll contact the council and get track of their new plot number, but I can’t say I am looking forward to it.