Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I was at a funeral/ the day I realised

I'm in an austere, vaguely Christian chapel full of people I don't know, watching as curtains close around the coffin of someone who was loved. I can't take my eyes off my friend who's slowly moving from his seat at the front with great dignity, but everytime I look at him I just want to cry for him.

There's a death in the family, and he's asked us to be here. My sympathy card, like the many others put up around the house Christmas-style, said if he needed anything just to ask. I'm aware that this is about the least I could be doing for him now, and I'm just glad he's got my sister by his side. He doesn't have to ask her anything, she already seems to know what he needs to get through this.

I've been to a lot of funerals in my life, and this was the worst. It was a death which, although natural, went against the natural order of things, and although I didn't really know her, it was a terrible thing to witness. The family printed up some poems she wrote before she died, about people I know, and it's been 24 hours and I haven't been able to look at them yet.

I suppose I learnt some important things yesterday, important reminders of why you have to make the most of time with everyone you love, and that you never know when your time's up. For about the first time in my life, I know what it means to have words completely fail me. It was a tough day, and it was just a relief to get home, rest and contemplate what I'd seen in my own time.

I also learnt that humour on the day of a funeral is a very fine balancing act. More about that one later.


Post a Comment

<< Home