They did Blanche – and Maggie – proud. The funeral was lovely, heartfelt and funny. So many beautiful moments. Starting before the funeral, on Tuesday, with Ken in Blanche’s room, looking through her “bits and bobs”. Deirdre is furious, but realizes she’s taking out her guilt and grief on him unjustifiably. So together they look through Blanche’s things, remembering.
At the Rovers, Liz explains a lot about the MacDonald reluctance to tell Amy anything. “I were that age when my gramma died. My dad sat me down, said she’d moved house and he’d lost her new address.” Steve asks, “Did you never wonder why you never saw her again?” “I thought she were living quite happily somewhere in Wolverhampton until I were 23. Saved me a lot of grieving, that.”
At the church, May explains the absence of Brynnie, the Knitter Natter member who was to play the recorder. The recorder presumably fell victim to a normally lovely mini-bus driver but “45 minutes non-stop of ‘Morning has Broken’ is enough to try anyone’s patience.” While telling this, May was unloading her purse of its carafe of coffee and who knows what all else and passing it to others to hold. I have no idea why.
The pallbearers waiting for the coffin, Roy among them. Always honest, he said he found Blanche a “difficult and unpleasant woman, often unnecessarily cruel.” “Thank God you’re not in charge of the eulogy,” Dev said.
Then the eulogy – indeed a wonderful scene. Deirdre was perfect in her description of her mother and in showing her deep love of her. And the little shots of the mourners while she was speaking. Hayley hissing “Not a word, Roy” when Deirdre said the local café had closed out of respect for Blanche. Tracy passing a tissue to the weeping prison guard who had never even met Blanche, then having to raise her cufflinked arm with her so she could blow her nose. Janice laughing out loud when Deirdre described her mother as “the mean-spirited old witch in the corner.” Then Deirdre breaking down, and Simon giving her a little smile and wave.
It was a moving eulogy and a beautiful funeral. Blanche would have loved it. It even ended with a catfight with Tracy going for Becky. I hope Blanche got a good laugh out of that – and Maggie too. On Thursday, after the funeral at the Rovers, Ken’s words about Blanche were beautiful. Ken was speaking of Blanche, but the emotion he showed appeared to be of Bill Roache for Maggie Jones.