We attended my Husband's Uncle's funeral today up on Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border. It was a sad day for the family as he was obviously well loved, unfortunately I never had the opportunity of meeting him so it was especially weird to be there to meet his coffin without knowing the man lying in it.
It was a lovely humanist ceremony in the cemetery where the family shared fond memories and stories of his life, and by all accounts he had been quite a rascal in his youth, whilst sailing the world with the Submarine Core. Funerals invariably get you thinking about your own mortality, I guess there is only one thing that's certain in this life and that's our death. We are all born and we all will die when our time is up. I'd like to think that I'll have a long life, long enough to see my daughter grown up, educated and in full charge of her life. But who knows what destiny has in store for me. Living seems even more imperative now I have a child, I couldn't bear the thought of her having to grow up without her Mother, as so many children have to do. Facing death is difficult for anyone but so much hassle would be avoided if only people could accept they need to think carefully what they would like to happen upon the event of their death.
Today also got me thinking about how I'd like to be sent off. Part of me does love the idea of a Humanist ceremony followed by the scattering of my ashes over Holkham Beach. Deep down though Catholicism has been too ingrained in my psyche, and so it'd have to be a full Catholic ceremony followed by a burial preferably in Fulham Palace Road Cemetery. Though, I've just checked the prices and for a private grave the cost is £10,000. So I may have to rethink that one, perhaps back to Plan A at Holkham Beach. Although I'd like to be remembered and (hopefully) celebrated on that day, I do find it strange that people are so composed at funerals. I've only ever attended full on Catholic funerals in Portugal where wailing, crying, throwing themselves on coffins is quite the norm. The Portuguese are not afraid of showing their emotion but what they don't do is celebrate that person's life, which I do esteem to be important. So perhaps somewhere between the two would be an idea? An occasion where people don't feel like they have to maintain a stiff upper lip and get on with it, but are allowed to show their grief in public whilst at the same time remembering the good times. Death provokes all kinds of sentiments in people, some believe that that is it for the dead, once they're gone they're gone. I like to think that spirits go on living around us, inspiring and guiding us through life until such time that our bodies decide to rest.
When I lost my dear Aunt Tuda, my second mother, I was completely distraught at the thought of her not being around and part of my life, especially as I was getting married just a few months later. It also hit me badly when I was pregnant, as I knew she would have been so delighted with having another niece and, she would have spoilt Matilda rotten. Despite her not being around physically, I do often sense her presence somehow, I know she's watching over us though I do miss her terribly, and hate the day she was so cruelly taken from us. I still to this day, 4 years later, have her name and number in my mobile phone. I just can't bring myself to delete it. Tuda this post is for you, I miss you and will always remember your kind happy face.