I'm in Winchester, England for Hannah's funeral. It being my family, though, we are told not to wear black, bright colors only, so I think the array of loud colors will be astonishing. I for one am wearing a neon green cashmere J Crew sweater with floral jeans. (And a coat and umbrella, the weather has been shockingly bad except for a brief respite this morning, snow warnings all over England.)
Winchester is an utterly gorgeous town, so Olde Worlde it's almost cliche. To add to it, I am staying at a pub hotel, a rather nice one, as it turns out, and rarely have I stayed somewhere so perfect. The pub is around behind Winchester Cathedral, through an ancient stone archway and along a walled road. The room is gorgeous, the curtains are an embroidered floral that is so pretty I really want to steal them. The bathroom is huge, the bathtub gushes lashings of ass-boilingly hot water. My bath last night was like making Karla soup, I just stewed myself into a lather and came out sweaty and pink. I slept SO WELL last night. Almost no jet lag today. The hotel has free wifi, free Fuller's London Pride in the mini fridge, and the (award winning gastro) pub is directly across the skinny medieval road. The pub even has an original Thomas Crapper toilet in the loo, of COURSE not only did I take pictures, but when I used it, I tweeted from the Crapper. (Seemed to be something I must do. A pee tweet. Check my twitter feed to the left for tweets and pics. (er, not of me peeing, btw.)) Breakfast (included) was the best french toast ('eggy bread', as my cousin corrected me) that I have ever had. I am enjoying my stay here so much that I feel guilty, actually, as the reason I am here is so heart breakingly sad.
This morning we met to plant a tree in Hannah's honor. To say my cousin, my beautiful, heartbroken, destroyed cousin is showing the strain is an understatement. He is a gorgeous man, but right now his eyes look faraway and even when he smiles his big goofy smile, I see the pain and confusion lurking. Hannah's best friend (also named) Hannah is here, and poor girl, she can't stop shaking. She is so distraught, her body shows the stress even if she tries to act like she's got it under control. It was at her house that Hannah fell down the stairs. I can't imagine, just CANNOT imagine the pain she feels as well as Edward. I don't know how she is going to bear up, life has given her some incredibly harsh blows the past few years, I don't think one person should have to go through all she has gone through lately. All I can do is hug her and give her a xanax if needed. That is really all that CAN be done right now, sometimes you just need the chemical help. The tree planting felt like a burial. The sun came out briefly, and against forecast. I joked it was because I had a huge umbrella with me and no sunglasses. If I had not had an umbrella, it would have poured. Remember from past posts, I do have this power over the weather. The moment I went and bought cheap sunglasses, the sun went away.
I did a bit of shopping on the high street, bought a cute white crochet'ed dress and a wicked cool black tight peplum dress. Seems I am now a size 10 UK. And of course I hit the lingerie at Marks and Spencers. I do like shopping here. (Who am Ikidding, I like shopping pretty much everywhere....)
At 2:30 we meet to go to the crematorium for the 'colorful' ceremony, where we are supposed to not cry. I don't know how THAT will be possible, but I have decided I am going to bring as much levity to the proceedings as possible and give Edward the laughs that I can. I bought a stupid, insanely dumb toy, a yodeling pickle, that I found in Houston, and gave it to him last night, along with the 'widower's' package of a nice bottle of Jack Daniel's, a carton of Camels, a shot glass and some salsa. If I were in his shoes, I'd only want to smoke, drink and eat random spicy things, so that's why I brought that.
So here I sit, alive and in luxurious circumstances, while my dear cousin's life has fallen apart in moments, and dammit I wish I could do more than I am. He says he'll come visit in Houston. I hope he does. The warmth and hot sun, and the general friendliness of the people, would be good for him.
So, now I will go change for the next part of this sad, beautiful day. Waterproof mascara needed.