Wow....so many things.
Well, as you know, I too have just been through dealing with funeral directors, grief (still grieving), etc.
I don't know if it was because we were having a funeral for our baby girl that the funeral director was compassionate & patient. I later found out that one of the other directors at the funeral home was visibly upset that they were doing a funeral for a baby. And a little doll, she was.
But the funeral company we used were wonderful. We really only dealt with one person there & she couldn't do enough for us. She never came out to our house as others have suggested, but in every dealing with her, she made sure she got every detail right. She was always warm, compassionate, caring & helpful.
We had a church pastor conduct our funeral. He & his wife were wonderful too. They came to our home whenever we needed them, they printed our Order of Service booklets at the church, they gave us emotional support & organised for people to bring meals around, & the pastor said the most beautiful words at the funeral & he didn't drag it out & make it dreary with babble. He really spent alot of time with us & our extended family & got to know us. And he was never in a hurry to leave. He was always there when we needed him. After viewings, after anything that he knew was going to be a struggle.
To cope with our grief, we just looked everything in the face. We went to visit our baby girl at the coroners office after she'd had her autopsy. Her head was covered with a hat so we couldn't see any damage. We were well prepared by a counsellor there. I had massive anxiety attacks prior to & leading up to going in but I wanted to see my girl. We also had viewings of her at the funeral home. I don't know if you did any of this but it really helped me in a way that I can't put into words right now of how to explain. Once I can put it into words, I'll share it with you.
What is also helping me, as someone else has suggested, is looking at her photo's, watching video's of her. Look at photo's & video's over & over & over & use them to enjoy your Mum again & again. For 3 weeks, I never had a single dream about my baby girl. Last night was the first time I'd dreamt about her & I wanted to dream about her so much. I felt that if I can just enjoy her again in my dreams, then I'll be happy. But for 3 weeks, I didn't even get that!! And I was happy once I'd had that dream. I didn't wake up sad.
Can I just encourage you to not push away the photo's because it hurts too much to look at them. You need to cry if that's how you express your emotions, you need to be angry if that's what you want to express at the time, you need to go with how you feel at the time. One particular day, I held it all together because I didn't want to cry all the time, I was starting to harden myself to the feelings. By the end of the day, when I went to bed, I just cried. I wailed so loudly & for so long, it was like all the emotions I'd been suppressing throughout the day all came out at once. I decided I wasn't going to do that again. After that, I just cried when I felt to cry, etc.
You threw your Mums clothes that she wore in the bin because neither of you could bear to go through them. If the garbo's haven't come around, I would also urge you to take them back out. You don't have to go through them. Put them in the roof, put them under the house if it's not on a slab. Put them somewhere where you can get them if you ever feel you want to hold them, smell them, cuddle them. There's nothing wrong with that. It's another way of being close to your Mum again. You might never want to get them out but at least you'll always have the option.
In regard to your Mums ashes, you weren't sure how you were going to cope with having your Mums ashes at your house. I hope you don't mind me sharing our story with you. Our original plan was to bury our daughter in my home town but seeing as we're not living there, I couldn't bear to leave her there. I would want to stay there so I could visit her & take care of her grave. And I didn't want to bury her where we're currently living because we're only living here temporarily and I didn't want to have to leave her later on. So we decided to have her cremated so she could always be with us. I never ever thought I'd decide on cremation for myself or for my children but now I'm at peace with it. We're going to have some of her ashes put in a vial to be placed inside a special teddy bear so that if me, my husband or my other children feel sad & miss her, we can go & cuddle the teddy bear. But I actually happy that Aliyra will always be with us.
At the moment, my husband & I each have a little thing of Aliyra's that we sleep with every night & cuddle. He cuddles her little toy bunny rabbit that she used to sleep with & I cuddle a pair of her pants (trousers) that she wore & I haven't washed. We both want to smell her. It makes us feel close to her. It's our way of expressing our love to her without her actually being here. I read this to my husband & he's not impressed with me sharing that he sleeps with a little bunny!!!
So you're all privileged that I shared this story with you!!
Make sure you let people know that it's still OK to talk about your Mum. Just because she is gone, doesn't make her a taboo subject. Another thing that helps when you're missing her is tell someone what you love about her. Something special that happened between you, how your Mum did this & when she said that. Once you start talking & sharing stories with someone - particularly someone who knew her also & can share as well - you will enjoy her again & again & it somehow lessens the pain & brings a smile.
I hope some of this has helped you Fay. If you have any questions like, "How did you deal with this?" or, "I'm really struggling with that", just ask. Me helping you with your grief & your emotions helps me with mine.
Thinking of you Fay. Don't try to be or act how anyone says you should. Just be yourself. Expect changes. Changes will happen. Be true to how you feel. And again, I hope you don't mind me sharing all of this with you. Please know that my intentions are to help you & I hope that something of what I've shared has helped even in the smallest way.
P.S. Sorry about the novel everyone!!