It’s Frank’s funeral on Friday. I have been trying to explain to the children that he is dead and will be cremated. His wife Virginia will scatter his ashes from their house in a hamlet close to ours. Bea is very practical about it and seems to have taken events in her stride. Olivia (pictured left) on the other hand has obviously been mulling over it. At 4 am this morning she came marching into my bedroom and posed the following question:
“Does Frank know Virginia is going to burn him?”
I tried my best to explain that they probably took the decision together before he died. Then she started to ask me about going to heaven. My children have a firm belief in heaven. Their childminder is very religous and has been telling them all about it since they were born. In fact when they heard that my mother lives in Devon, Bea asked where that was and Olivia responded: “It’s where people go when they die.”
I tried to explain about the soul going to heaven and the body not really mattering. And then luckily she fell asleep. Because to be honest I have less idea of what happens when you die than I have about the plots of French films.
I suppose it is one of the great unsolved mysteries. I like to think that Frank is out there somewhere, reading some weighty biography, drinking a pression and listening to Wagner. It seems such a strange thing that his life is just over, that a light just goes out and it’s never to be seen again. But maybe that’s just a need the living have to deny death and its finality.