Funerals

The difference between being and non-being is both so abrupt and so vast that it remains shocking even though it happens to every living thing that is, was, or ever will be. Diana Athill

How true these words are. Why does it always take us by suprise?

I have attended two funerals in the past four weeks. One of the young man I mentioned before who committed suicide and the other an elderly relative who had been suffering for some years. Both were very well attended for different reasons.

In the latter case I went on to the burial and to the hotel where a reception was held. My chauffeur was a niece I hadn’t seen since her wedding twenty years before. We seemed to have a lot in common and the conversations in the car were both interesting, stimulating and great fun. The fact that she insisted that as the car had a country reg she would do u turns at will also made the drive ‘exciting’. Despite the age difference which must be at least 30 years we got on so well that we will no doubt meet up again. A good result from a sad occasion. You can never know where you will find happiness.

As I get older going to funerals is something I must now look forward to on a regular basis as friends and relations are aging apace. It makes me think of my own and I have all sorts of ideas of how things should be conducted, where it will be and songs I want included. I must get it down on paper so that the family will know. I don’t want any arguments among them when I am gone but that is something I can wish for but cannot control.

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7 thoughts on “Funerals

  1. Just wanted to say thanks for a thought provoking post. Also, to mention that ‘committed suicide’ has kind of gone out of use due to the fact that it implies some kind of crime or sin was ‘committed’. Hope you don’t mind me pointing that out.

  2. Twice in the one day Ann, you, and a friend I walk with each week, have spoken about making funeral plans. I was asked this morning did anyone know what I would like to happen, did I want cremation, a headstone anywhere, and so on. The answer to that is ‘no’. I have certainly had my will made for a long time, and would advise everyone to do so because it leaves the family clear as to your wishes. However, what about the ceremony itself, how do you remain true to your own personal beliefs, have you decided to whom you would give your jewellery, books, paintings or whatever constitutes your estate outside of monetary assets? It is an act of great courage to prepare your own send-off. I have been fearful of sitting down and creating the way I would like my life to be celebrated and to whom I would like to pass on my most important possessions. Thanks for opening out this challenging topic. Ali

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