The Anonymous Widower

My Mother-In-Law’s Funeral

After Oakwood, I thought I take a bus through Barnet and come home on the Northern line, but I got off near where my mother-in-law used to live.

This picture shows St. James’s church in New Barnet. which was where my mother-in-law worshipped.

St. James's Church In New Barnet

St. James’s Church In New Barnet

C, my late wife, also used to worship there as a child, but as a teenager she just didn’t get on with the vicar, so she moved her patronage to the church where we got married at Cockfosters.

By the time my mother-in-law died, there was a new vicar, who we’d not met until her funeral. He was incidentally an ex-policeman and we did know that my mother-in-law liked him a lot. She was taken into the church and the vicar started to go through the funeral service.  Every time, he spoke of my mother-in-law he called her Frances and her many cousins in unison would chant her birth name of Edith.

After the cremation, we came back to her house round the corner and sandwiches and soft drinks were partaken. Most of the cousins left and we were left with a couple of my mother-in-law’s half-sisters and their family. We did then have a bottle of wine and about an hour later, when everybody had left, we were drinking by ourselves in the empty house, when the door bell rang.

It was the vicar! He’d been unable to come to the cremation or even back to the house, as he had had two funerals that day!

He congratulated us on our drink, as he felt it was a good practical idea.  He then asked us, what all the hissing was about and we told him, how my mother-in-law had hated her first name and had always used her second. but the cousins had continued to use Edith.

He then said, that the first day, he’d met her, she’d walked up to him and said hello, indicating she was Frances and in the six months they’d known each other, he’d not used anything else.

So as she was virtually a friend, he felt that he didn’t need to check with the family.  As it was, we’d have given the same name.

Today was probably the first day since then, that I’ve gone anywhere near that church.

January 29, 2013 - Posted by | World | , , ,

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