Despite a wardrobe stuffed with psychedelia, feather boas, impractical shoes and outrageous hats I can still cobble together something suitable for most occasions. Here's what I wore for Dad's funeral today.
1960s Pseudo-Victorian lace-up boots, £1 car boot sale
Ossie Clark (?) jacket - bought last year from Second to None. Last seen HERE
1950s kid leather gloves by Morley (borrowed from the Kinky stockroom)
Victorian bog oak mourning locket filled with a lock of hair, circa 1850 (part of a collection I inherited)
And, as part of the family tradition I carried my Great-Grandma's clutch bag.
Tucked away inside is a photograph of her carrying it on a stroll around her home city of Chester in the 1930s. The gorgeous woman on her left was my Grandma's oldest sister, Florence.
My Dad was, like me, an atheist so I chose a humanist ceremony. Searching the internet for an suitable reading I came across this quote from the Russian climber Anatoli Boukreev. As Dad's lifelong passion was mountaineering (after leaving the RAF he spent two years conquering The Alps) the words seemed wonderfully apt.
Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve,
They are the cathedrals where I practise my religion...
I go to them as humans go to worship.
From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and,
With an unusual acuity, I am allowed to experience the present moment....
My vision cleared, my strength renewed. In the mountains I celebrate creation.
On each journey I am reborn.
You might think I'm mad for sharing this. I'm not a believer in life after death, a fan of horror films or have the slightest interest in witchcraft, tarot cards or seances but ever since we've moved into our house strange things have happened with several visitors speaking of a presence (including my dad, who refused to sit in the dining room). Last night as I was brushing my teeth before bed a bony hand gripped my lower back and violently pushed me across the floor and into the sink. I went ice cold, my skin became a mass of goosebumps and I ran downstairs to Jon in tears and, if you know me then you know I'm not a crier.
I was scared to go back into the bathroom but obviously I had to. This morning I braced myself, turned the radio on and the first song I heard was :
I think it's a sign. My beloved grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2000 and died in 2009, my Mum died in 2010 and Dad became ill five months later. After fifteen long years the shadow illness has cast over my life has gone. That evil hand has released me from it's icy grip and yes, I really do feel like there are finally going to be good times.
See you soon.
See you soon.
Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww what a story to tell, Vix.ReplyDelete
Cling on the good times coming. I am sure they will be and thank you for your open heart.
What a fitting way to say farewell to your Dad ,and as ever you looked ''just right'' ,love'n'hugs Jan xxReplyDelete
A beautiful outfit for a poignant day; its lovely too that you wear and treasure special family pieces like the bag and locket. Your reading sounded perfect and an apt choice indeed, really thoughtful words.ReplyDelete
That weird episode sounded quite upsetting, no wonder it freaked you out. I've had a few things happen to me in a previous house that I lived in which I still can't explain.
Here's to those good times rolling their way to you soon xxx
Let's hope whatever pushed you shoved off. This is a good day for you to have behind you - love that reading you did. Time for you and Jon to start living life for yourselves.ReplyDelete
It's so hard to say goodbye to our elders but then again I am a true believer that when your time is up it's up, such a sweet tribute to your dad! Since you are a non believer in other realms just a suggestion since I am a believer ....you can ask them to be gentler with their messages!ReplyDelete
I love your thoughtfully put together outfit and the Anatoli Boukreev quote about the mountains it matches my experience of the mountains. I'm sure your Dad would have been pleased that you chose both.ReplyDelete
Keep safe. I hope that scary hand has gone for good.
Cara Bellissima Vix,
there are days like these, when you close a long and sad chapter of his life, around the darkness, then before us a window on a beautiful sunny day, our life .. We just have to live and be happy in ourselves, I think they would be happy also our loved ones who are gone .. I was a child I went to church, was for me a good reason to see friends and buy comics newsstand, licorice bar of my village, then it was all so boring ... After a few years I've become officially atheist, at least so the Church of Rome is not supporting this mafia system in my name ... I do not know if I believe in the afterlife, maybe not but I believe in the energy that makes us alive and not always runs out. I believe in what you have told me, even my mother and many of his colleagues have met with something similar. And I confess that I hope not to have these experiences (I love horror movies .. but I'm really afraid!). Still I'm sorry about your father, but it's beautiful the way you greeted him. This phrase Anatoli Boukreev expresses a concept that I share.
P.S. what a thrill to see your grandmother in Florence with the same bag that you brought today ..
Arww it sounds like you gave your Dad a fitting send off...I know you don't believe in spooks and such likes but there are down to earth folks who can assist if any more uncomfortable "happenings" take place xReplyDelete
That's a wonderful and throughtful outfit for your dad's funeral and the choice of reading was perfect.ReplyDelete
There's a fair bit of stuff out there that we can't explain I think. I reckon the hand was a sign of the end of all the sad times you've had and too bloody right there's gonna be good times.
See you in a bit.
You have such a beautiful way you see the world and others. The piece you choose for funeral sounds perfect for how you described your father. A beautiful outfit for a day remembering your father with many sentimental touches.ReplyDelete
Regarding the bathroom and the shove, I'm not sure what to say as I do believe in such things and that anything is possible. I hope for you that it was a push into a time for you and Jon not covered in the shadow of sickness. X
I love what you wore. Almost a version of the bridal list...something old, something else old...but a collection of highly personal items, but the beauty to me is that they are all things you use and love and share with us. Not a special 'outfit' for sad occasions.ReplyDelete
A perfect reading too; doesn't that picture of your dad climbing look like Jon?
I've had 'smells' and bits happen from 'the other side', but have not been pushed or upset by them. But, yes, I'd take that as a very positive forward.
And hopefully we'll all be here to follow your journey.
Much love and hugs, Zxx
You looked beautiful , Did your dad proud , Dave is a no believer he says there is too much cruelty in the world for there to be a god , I dont believe but still have a little hope ,One day i will tell you what happened to me on the day of my grandad's funeral , I dont believe in those sort of things either but it was very surreal , Take care and i really hope it was a sign andReplyDelete
things will be easier for you in the future xxx
The inclusion of those family tokens and the choice of a particularly apt reading gave real meaning to your participation in your father's funeral, Vix. Your ensemble's visual weight was, indeed, dignified and appropriate for a parent's service in October.ReplyDelete
I am a believer, and I have had some experience with things that come down chimneys. A mortician friend told me she knows the "things" are real -- and therefore these unsettling events are encountered by atheists and believers alike, especially when a death parts what some call The Veil. Perhaps now is the time to settle whatever is bumping about in the night in the dining room and bath. I'd surmise this is not the first such occurence. Some would suggest a house blessing; others, a loud vocal statement ordering what/whoever to vacate. Bless you, it nearly Hallowe'en. When I pray for the rest of all souls, I'll mention your cottage and "hold you in the Light". Can't hurt.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I believe in energy, I supose you do too.ReplyDelete
A fitting tribute for your Dad and you looked lovely.ReplyDelete
I have never had any other worldy experiences. However, I was driving fast on the way home from my Mums about 12 years ago (a year after my darling Dad had died). My Dad had been a driving instructor at one time and was a stickler for speed limits. As I came towards a bend in the road, I felt sure I heard my Dad say slow down, did so and a car came in the opposite direction over the white line. If I'd not slowed down I would have been a gonna. I ofter feel he's with me especially when his favourite songs play on the radio when I feel sad. It could be coincedence but I find it comforting. Hugs to you xxx
What an amazing fellow your Dad was.ReplyDelete
What a completely wonderful quote.
I'm not religious. Best funerals I have ever been to were Humanist ones.
Humility & wonder in the face of nature feels right to me.
Bless you Vix X
you look as beautiful as I thought you would, you also did your Dad proud by the piece you chose for the reading, as for the shove in the bathroom, I think your interpretation sounds spot on!ReplyDelete
Gosh what a thing to happen but I think you're right good times will come and hopefully that hand is gone for good! I love the quote, it's extremely fitting. Humanist funerals are extremely beautiful. XXXXReplyDelete
You darling wonderful girl all your family would have been so proud of you today.ReplyDelete
What a wealth of fabulous memories you have of your Dad
Love from us two xxxx
Oh Vix. You are such a beautiful person. I know your Dad is proud of you. This is an interesting story. Like you, I am not a believer but I have had several experiences that just make me wonder. Yep there is stuff swirling around and it might as well be positive. All the best, Sweetie.ReplyDelete
Yikes! I won't be staying with you when I come for a visit.ReplyDelete
That said, I hope that you are right and you have passed the worst of it.
I adore the quote you chose and also what you've chosen to wear. So many memories.
Sending big hugs for this difficult day.
dear lady, that's the attitude!, good times are coming!. You're an awesome lady, thanks for sharing your real life with us, it makes my heart sing!!ReplyDelete
And you look pretty appropriate and still looking gorgeous and looking absolutely You. Genuine style.
wow, some things are hard to explain. The mystery of the world. Whatever happens after we die, your Dad is at peace.ReplyDelete
A beautiful thoughtful outfit. What a lovely fitting tribute that reading is to reflect your Dad's adventurous spirit. We had a humanist ceremony at my mam's funeral and I found it to be a much better reflection of the person's life that more traditional funerals. I tend to keep an open mind on paranormal happenings and what you experienced must have been unsettling but I think your positive take on it is spot on. xxxReplyDelete
the outfit you chose is perfection as was the quote. i will share that with Larry as he loves climbing mountains and says that is his church. I truly believe good times are ahead...mucho love xReplyDelete
You did your Dad proud Vix. My Nan and Aunt both had humanist ceremonies, which were far more appropriate than a religious one. xReplyDelete
I thought about you today. I hope it went well. That poem you choose is hauntingly beautiful and so appropriate for your dad. I'm sure he'd have been really touched. You look beautiful and so dignified in your mourning outfit, lovely that you took bits from your family too. All those connections. I know all about the shadow of illness, must feel totally amazing to be free at last. Oh my goodness though, that is chilling, your experience of last night. Where my mum is, the carers report all sorts of weird things. Spooks me out, but I've never heard or seen anything thankfully. I really hope there are good times ahead for you Vix, you deserve it. XxxxReplyDelete
So sorry for you loss Vix. You looked beautiful in this outfit, sending love and good wishes to you and your family xoxoReplyDelete
Brr, what a spooky story. Like you I'm pretty sceptical, but I don't think you're mad! I've also seen/experienced things that can't easily be explained away, I think a lot of people have. I'm glad that you feel that whatever it might have been is going away, though.ReplyDelete
You look lovely and I'm glad to hear the day went well the service sounds wonderful.ReplyDelete
What an unnerving experience, it's a strange world we live in and personally I think there is more out there than we imagine, the older I get the more I believe in karma, signs, omens and the universe. Next time we meet ask me about my experience of summoning an angel, it's hilarious. x x
There definitely are other forces out there. I know from experiencing certain unexplained things, surrounding my daughters death. They weren't frightening to me. I like to think it was to put my mind at ease. I think certain people are more in tune with happenings. The only negative thing that happened to me was when my friend took over an old coaching inn in Wales which was known to have "sightings". As we were going down the corridor to go to our room, the double fire doors sprung open to let us through. Although we didn't see anything we felt cold and we kept the light on all night. Next morning at breakfast we said what had happened and were told it wasn't unusual for someone to feel like somebody had brushed past them, or touched their shoulder. No one had said anything to us as they didn't want to scare us !ReplyDelete
Fifteen years is a long time to live in the shadow of illness and family loss. I AM a "believer" in life after death. It is the only way I can explain (and manage) life on THIS side of the grave. It's not my job to convince anyone, though. The reading you selected was very fitting to honor your father's life experiences. I'm not sure HOW I would have responded to the frightening experience. I'm thankful Jon was in the house for you at the time.ReplyDelete
Dear dear Vix: What a beautiful quote and tribute to your father.ReplyDelete
I don't think you're mad, and I do believe as so many others here have said that yes, good times ahead! xox
Oh dearest Vix, I was thinking of you today as today we interred my Grandad's ashes at a cemetery with a grave stone. I hope it wasn't too difficult. Sorry about that disconcerting episode, I'm not sure how I might react to that other than in terror.ReplyDelete
I hope that song is the start of a time of good for you. Sending you hugs. X x
So glad you will be able to move on now, but you will always have those good memories to look back on. I think your ensemble was perfect.ReplyDelete
I am a longtime follower of your blog as is my 22 year old daughter. We lost my 92 year old Mom almost 2 years ago and found that what we chose to say at her funeral was really important to us. I am also a Humanist...your tribute was profound and so moving. Well done and ThankYou. EleanoreReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing Vix, and believe me better days are just around the corner. That corner may take a while to get to but you will get there in the end. A house as old as yours will have a lot of spiritual presence, if it freaks you out get some white sage and burn it. xxReplyDelete
Vix, you had me in tears , what a beautiful and fitting reading for your Dad, and how precious to have those family heirlooms. Bring on the good times now like you say. Sending love and positive energy your way xxReplyDelete
Hello Vix, your outfit was elegant and stylish as always, the words chosen for your dad were brilliant, what a wonderful farewell he received. I don't think I have a 'religion' any longer although I tried to 'fit'. I grew up with a clairvoyant mum who was well known locally and had a small 'shop' in Wales where she received her clients and did her stuff - it doesn't make me an authority on such things of course, but over the years many strange things have happened, visits, smells, sounds, and I came to see them as normal even though nobody elses family was like ours! we did have a bad experience in this house some years ago. I think we are more attuned to 'other world' things at certain times, Or a more athiest view might be that houses hold peoples dna like an atmosphere and this causes these experiences. I hope that when you are at peace your house (guests) will be too and that you won't experience anything physical again. You certainly raised some interesting comments on the post. Blessings. Betty xReplyDelete
What a beautiful tribute to dad !ReplyDelete
I hope that there will be peace for you and those you have lost from now on too.ReplyDelete
You looked beautiful and you did your Dad and family proud past and present. I love the Mountain words you used they were so right for this moment they actually bought a tear to my eye. It always touches me that you have so many treasures from your past family and that you took a part of your nan with you yesterday with the use of her bag which is beautiful. The evil hand that pushed you sends goose bumps up my arms to but I am a believer that it was a sign life gets sunnier from now on lovely. You did everyone proud including yourself today, big hugs and loads of love, dee xxxReplyDelete
That's a lovely outfit, both very appropriate and very you - is the handbag your own personal tradition, or did someone else carry it to family funerals before you?ReplyDelete
The hand... I don't believe anything specific, certainly in nothing as definite as a god, but I am prepared to accept that we don't know *everything* - after all, we haven't even managed to cure colds yet, and we know those germs exist. Perhaps the hand was a rather forcible way of telling you that you haven't lost anyone, they're just out of contact.
when a door get closed another opens.....ReplyDelete
we only have to walk thru and make the best of the new :-)
i believe that there is more then we usually see - but i believe too that this is not there to scare us. its just there.
i so agree with the words of anatoli boukreev - well chosen from you! and as a little mountaineer myself i send your dad a "jodler" as fairwell! are this mountain photos from your dads album? what a treasure!
love that you´r wearing meaningful accessories to the funeral. your dad would be proud of his wise and beautiful daughter!
warm hugs!!! xxxxxx
Your outfit is perfect. Your dad would be proud.ReplyDelete
Wonderful tribute and such a meaningful outfit!ReplyDelete
I love the mountaineering references.
He has climbed his mountain now and whooping at the top!
Your spooky story is freeeaaky, just in time for Halloween. Well done for revisiting the bathroom.
I would be playing that song loudly whenever I entered for a while!
Good times are here and now you can enjoy them. So glad the illnesses hanging over you are through. You've had a long run, and your light shines bright! xo Jazzy Jack
What a moving post. I write this with tears in my eyes and so much gratitude for having you in my life, albeit from afar. You are such a strong and loving person and deserve all the good times to come.ReplyDelete
What fitting words you chose for your dad's funeral ceremony. Sorry to hear about the unsettling experience you had too, that would freak anyone one. Here's to good times ahead, indeed xxReplyDelete
I think it's wonderful how you celebrated your Father's life as well as the history of your family.ReplyDelete
Your experience was definitely creepy and startling, yet it's a sign of a new beginning. XOXO
Hes still watching over you and always will , theres days when it makes you smile when you think of him and days when the silliest thing can make you cry . I only have to look at a lonely pair of oxblood DM's and im sniveling and its been 12 yearsReplyDelete
What a beautiful outfit and such a lovely tribute to your dad. It sounds like he had a very interesting life. Wishing you lots of good times ahead xxReplyDelete
Dear Vix. Thank you for sharing your story. I too think that there will be "Good Times." You've had so much loss of the years, and yes, the evil hand has released you from its icy grip.ReplyDelete
I was moved by the tribute to your father and the loving respect that you gave to him at his funeral. Sending much love!
I am so touched by the wonderful reading at your Dad's memorial. My Dad and I were/are atheists but found much to be touched by in the natural world. Your experience in the bathroom is so unusual, and of course I have no explanation - only big hugs and thoughts for understanding. I did hear my cat Samson purring loud as ever after he died, and I don't believe in supernatural! Your outfit is perfection. Sending you peaceful and happy thoughts for the future. xoxReplyDelete
Vix, you looked splendidly put together for your father's goodbye ceremony.I believe in a lot of different things, I'm sure the bony hand was a goodbye of all the illnesses that has been with your parents. There are bright days ahead.ReplyDelete
Thank you Vix for sharing this and so much of yourself. I am thinking of you all especially today. xxxxxReplyDelete
Lived in a house with spirits - they weren't haunting us; just seemed curious.ReplyDelete
On each journey I am reborn - indeed - what a lovely thought.
Bless you Vix xx
ah Vix. You look a vision in your mourning ensemble, perfect for you and your Dad. And the reading you chose is so sweepingly beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with us.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful, fitting and thoughtful tribute to your Dad, Vix.ReplyDelete
And how marvellous to wear an outfit connected to your family's past, you look stunning as always.
That spooky shit would have freaked me out too, let's hope it's never repeated and that the good times have arrived for you...you certainly deserve them girl!
Lots of love xxx
What an elegant, thoughtful, heartfelt farewell for your father, Vix. You looked fantastic, and the reading was perfect. Sending you love and light. xoReplyDelete
The quote shared at your Dad's service is moving and meaningful. Your attention to detail in your attire is respectful and honors your family history. Your Dad is surely beaming from above.ReplyDelete
I know you don't believe in eternal life, but I do. A skeletal hand gripping me anywhere, at any time, would scare the beejeezus out of me, but I think you interpreted the action brilliantly. Yes...it is indeed your time to feel free from your elders' illnesses.
Ah bless you Vix, (probably shouldn't say that to an athiest should I?) I'm sending positive thoughts and love your way.ReplyDelete
The quote you shared at your dads funeral was very moving. Your clothing was elegant and stylish and I'm sure you did him proud.
The hand thing has me a little concerned. I had something very odd happen here, just the once and I'm hoping this incident was a one off for you too.
Thinking of you. xxxx
A completely appropriate choice of clothing and accessories for your dad's funeral, and of course you look magnificent. And the quote you chose is completely spot on for your dad - inspired, he would have approved.ReplyDelete
The weird shit? Man, I don't know - I'm not much of a believer in that stuff, but if you say so, I'll believe it. I think we experience stuff that is all ours - not another world, or spirits, or ghosts, or any of that. Just our own powerful emotion manifesting itself in an oddly physical way. But not any the less significant for that - something has shifted, something has changed, and you feel freer. And that's all good.
Those photos of your dad's climbing days are spectacular, aren't they? What a life. And what a daughter!
Love you! xxxxxxx
Lots of good times ahead for you, my dear.ReplyDelete
You are not just a dazzling vintage vixen, you are a wordsmith too. What a story you spin here and the old photographs are wonderfully interwoven. I love your funeral outfit, carefully chosen and artfully worn, it has so much poignancy knowing what a bright summer soul that you are. I'm not sure what that I believe, but I know that ghosts of some sort and a dark veil can exist. I am so glad that the pall of sickness and sorrow has been lifted from your life and that you can soar now, like the bird that you are. So happy to have you in my life, Shine brightly. Many hugs to you. xReplyDelete
Dignified dress in honor of your father.ReplyDelete
Thats not chester......it looks more like a seaside promenade......unless its the road above the racecourse?ReplyDelete
Vix, you looked fabulous. Thoughtful, respectful and so utterly you.That was a very moving reading and I am sure that the day was a beautiful celebration of your Dad's life. I don't know what to say about you being pushed. I do think that at times like these odd things happen. There is a lor of emotion around. I am sure too that the song was a sign of good things to come after so long. Sending you and Jon some love. XxReplyDelete
Beautiful post, Vix, and a fitting tribute to your family, and its experiences, in so many ways. You have such power to move people through the stories and histories you tell - reading through these and the comments from so many other entries make that abundantly clear. Forgive me if this is wildly inappropriate to say at this time, but you're a true writer, and if you ever wrote a book, I'd buy it in a flash. XoxReplyDelete
Wow … that's creepy but curious. I tell myself I don't believe in such things, but then I'm always fascinated when I hear about them. I hope life is filled with good times from now on.ReplyDelete
Vix, I'm so glad the shadow of illness and death is retreating. That sounds like a very frightening incident in your bathroom. I consider myself an atheist as well, but I do believe there is definitely more in the universe that meets the eye, and I have had a couple of unsettling experiences in my life that could be termed "supernatural".ReplyDelete
Your outfit for your Dad's funeral was very much "you",even though it was black, and I really like the reading you chose. I think it shows how much we cared for the person who has died when we take care to choose something that truly speaks to their life and the things that were important to them.
I'm so glad you've had a sign of better times to come Vix, despite your experience. Thinking of you xoReplyDelete
So beautiful.... the reading, the outfit, you.... thinking of you xxReplyDelete
Hi Sweetie. No words, just love. Thank you for the post. You sharing your experience makes mine a little easier. I'm thinking of you. XXXOOOReplyDelete
I am completely in love with those boots, what a steel!!ReplyDelete