This is my 201st Post! Woohoo! Six months I have been here and 200 scribbles later, I still feel like the new girl in the school.
I went to a funeral yesterday. It wasn’t my intention to spend my 201st post talking about a funeral, but I read an interesting (old Chinese insult – may you live in interesting times) item from ripples blog this morning and it prompted me to share with you.
Bob’s was a very jolly funeral, actually, as funerals go. The gentleman concerned was described as ‘larger than life’, a description with which I agree, and the church was full of people, there to celebrate his life as well as mourn.
We began with Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’ and finished with the Monty Python team singing ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. Many of those there sang along with Eric Idle and co., something which was not only unusual, but somehow incredibly appropriate, yet may well sound odd to those reading this. His was a life lived fully. He could barely read or write, yet he ran a business, took a full part in the community and was much loved by everyone in that church and doubtless a good few others for whom the weather made it impossible to get there.
I think we have a very odd attitude to death – certainly in this country. Maybe coloured by Victorian values, not sure. But yesterday’s service was quite joyful in a way, and I think it was exactly right: another episode in the life of Bob. The fact that he wasn’t there in body didn’t mean we didn’t feel his presence. Those who spoke of him captured his essence and we felt him among us. There was much laughter as well as some tears.
Bob died on Christmas morning. Terrible timing, you might think. And yesterday was his birthday, chosen by his relatives deliberately from a sort of sad irony. Coming in and going out on the same day: Bob would have laughed like a drain.
The post from ripplesblog was therefore, though much sadder and involving the very young, somehow appropriate and in a way might have answered a couple of questions that friends had asked and none of us had dared ask. What happened to the presents? His, bought and wrapped and lovingly prepared for his family; theirs chosen especially for him. In ripplesblog all those lives were cut short, ending all too soon. Very very sad and very different from the death of an elderly, if much loved, gentleman. In those cases, the cheery goodbyes were missing, only the all-pervasive sadness remains.
But none of us knows the number of our days. We can’t prepare, only do as Bob did and live all those days to the full, loving the children we bring into the world as much as we possibly possibly can. My heart goes out to those who lose children. I cannot imagine how that feels, but that post made me think of how we treat them and at times take them for granted; how we should treasure them, because we have no idea what tomorrow brings, not for them and not for us.
Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all, chatting about Bob and his funeral in this land mark post.
I just lost my father three months ago today and I appreciate the uplifting spin that you have put on death in this post. My father was the greatest man, lived a very full, respectful life and he was content and ready for whatever waited him on the other side. That I suppose, on some level, is a comfort. 🙂
I’m glad you found it uplifting. I hesitated before I hit publish, not wishing to offend, but I think, maybe only for the elderly, there is a time, a season…. and many of that generation want to live a full and useful life, terrified that they may become useless.
I am sorry for your loss, but glad you were able to take some comfort here.
Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂
Never worry about offending, there is always someone that can relate. 🙂
Thank you 🙂 Nice advice.
Nice story Pat… I love reading abut great occasions, and this sounded like one..
It was Valerie. A lovely day really. Unexpectedly so. And not in a black humour way either, but genuinely a great occasion. Thank you.
I have heard of funeral traditions of “singing them home” , and yours sounded particularly fitting in celebrating a life well-lived. Tears and laughter can both honor someone’s memory, I think!
It certainly was the case here. And I now know what ‘singing them home’ means. I had never experienced that before and it was very uplifting.
Thank you for coming over and for commenting and also for your inspirational piece which inspired me to write this.
This was a wonderful post and tribute to your friend. I try to remind myself that I need to forget about the inevitable because when I worry about the tragedies that might befall me, I waste precious time enjoying what’s right in front of me.
Thank you for sharing this!
You are so welcome and I’m glad it touched you. Thank you for your lovely comment. 🙂
A touching post. Well written.