Mrs Smith was distraught, I suggested she rang her family, I believe she had two daughters. She did this and chatted for a while and then passed the phone to me as her daughter wanted to speak to me. Firstly she passed on her condolences and then said she thought it would be better for her Mum if she went home before the funeral,which I could understand but was a little surprised. Everyone deals with grief differently. I said I didnt think she was in any state to go home on her own, she was 72 yrs old. I suggested that perhaps they could come and pick her up but she said it was a long drive. I then asked her what she thought she should do and she said she could manage to meet halfway , meaning me drive half way. I said this would be difficult as I had work committments and a funeral to arrange also I had to clear my Dads flat. I didnt want to argue the point as my Dad wouldnt want that , so I agreed and arranged to meet her at Watford Gap Services the next day which was wednesday. I suggested meeting at 10.00am but that was too early for her so we settled on midday. I did think it was a bit selfish.
Mrs Smith was full of apologies for her daughters inflexibility but I said it didnt matter as long as she got home without too much hassle. We packed her suitcase , this was so upsetting for her. I am sure she would have liked her daughter to be there. I know if it was my Mum I would have been straight there to help her. She had only known mysef and kids for about 3 months we were strangers really.
We got Mrs Smith to the services at 11.50am and had to wait an hour before the daughters arrived this really annoyed me but I didnt let it show. I said goodbye to Mrs Smith and she asked me to keep in touch.
Back home Dennis and I arranged the funeral , this time we were going to get loads of flowers as my Dad had said he wanted that. I found it so difficult I just couldnt stop the tears. Both our parents were now gone. The funeral was arranged for the following Wednesday 19th July 1983 and at sometime we had to go to Camden in London for the inquest as he actually died in The Royal Free Hospital in Camden.
I got in touch with the council housing and was told the flat would have to be empty in a weeks time and gave me a date to hand in the keys, if I failed to meet this time I would have to pay another weeks rent. I got in touch with work and asked for 2 weeks holiday from my annual leave.
Dennis decided he wanted all my Dads tools and there was a few sentimental bits I wanted, the rest we decided we would call in a house clearance company. This was a horrible job we were all in tears sorting things. We all felt like we shouldnt be intruding but it had to be done. All his clothes too. Everything we came across seemed to upset us more.
At last it was done and collection was arranged. When it had all gone we cleaned the flat and I returned the keys. The next horrible thing was the funeral on thursday something we were all dreading.