Wednesday, 25 June 2014

An Awesome Experience

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I mean that in the old-fashioned sense of the word.  I went to a funeral of a 67-year-old man last week. Pancreatic cancer.  I did not know him and wondered why my husband (a work colleague) was so insistent on attending the service, considering it was on a Public Holiday, we had to forgo arrangements with our children and it was pouring with rain. And cold. The service was an hour and a half and consisted almost entirely of tributes from the gentleman's family and friends.  It was the kind of occasion where say, 150 brochures had been printed and 300 people turned up.  There was not an empty seat.  It upset me for days: the thing is you always feel this terrible sense of loss, just as if it was your own loved one who has departed.  Does it help to prepare us for our own experience one day? I think not, not matter how hard we try, we can't presume to share in another's grief. What it seems to achieve, at least for me, is a kind of cleansing and emptying and a sense that whatever kind of person I have been up to now - I am going to try harder in the future. It is a source of wonder that in this terrible, violent, unfair, cruel world that we inhabit, there are so many amazing individuals that make a difference.


  1. I live in Port Orchard, Washington state, USA. Found your blog, love it. Just waiting for more. :)

    1. Thank you so much. I have been a bit despondent with few people commenting lately so I've slowed down a bit. You have cheered me up. However, I think my very best posts were some years ago when I started...I hope you will dig a bit further?

  2. I have been, Ill comment again. :)

  3. Hey you have been busy here lately. You fell off my Apple bullshit cavalcade of websites when I open Safari. My memory is so bad that I haven't checked you in a while.

    Regarding helping to prepare one for grief, I don't know. My sister is a hospice nurse, she has spent many an hour holding the hands of those going gently (or otherwise) into that "good" night. When her husband died last February, she told me that none of her training or experience prepared her for his death. It is quite different when it happens to you.