I am so glad of your story.
I have another. It is not the same, but it has touched me deeply. Amazing atitudes are very grounding.
I attended the funeral of a person I used to nurse a long time ago last week. She died suddenly and unexpectedly and was about 51, so not much older than me. She was disabled from youth, but not birth. She had a wicked sense of humour and was gentle and shrewd. I think she knew us (staff & visitors) before we knew ourselves.
She was buried in a wicker coffin on an eco site, so nothing that was not biodegradable was allowed to go in the coffin or to be left on site. It was a field kept tidy by sheep. You got buried, had your name engraved on a big rock with everybody else on the site, and then when your plot was full (no more than around 20 at most per plot by the looks of it) the little field next door was opened for buriels and your site got planted with a tree for each grave and left as a protected site. It is on the high point of a moor, so tree-less at present, though not in the past, and has sun all day. In futue your little plot will be full of trees with birds and other wildlife and you will be reabsorbed back into nature. No sinister giant chess set monuments on site, if you know what I mean.
The opening song was 'What a Wonderul World' by Louis Armstrong - one of my favourite songs of all times. Made me cry buckets, but not in a bad way. Also played was the song 'Don't Worry - Be Happy' (I am so sorry i cannot remember the proper name or singer) and much more including UB40 songs.
The whole service reflected our friend. Nobody could resist a smile. The lady did good. She had time to plan her own funeral, and the main clear thing is that she was considering the feelings of people she cared about and trying to give us all a message of hope, even though she knew her days were numbered. I felt that she had time to relect on her life and see the good in herself and others, and try to reach out to us all for one final time. She wanted us to have a giggle at her funeral and know she appreciated everybody she knew. This feeling bursted through every second of her special day in the form of music.
We were all offered a tipple of brandy in the mud on the top of the hill whilst freezing in our funeral gear with wellies on ... because that was her favourite tipple... she took it through a staw - 2 if we were in a hurry. She no doubt wanted to warm us up a bit and ge tus p---ed. A full bottle was poured into the grave. I can see her killing herself laughing at those of us trying to drink the stuff knowing we had to drive miles home and we couldn't stand it anyway. Not only that, some of us had forgotten our wellies and were sinking in the mud in our high heels.
I will always remember her cheeky smile and cockeyed grin when we were talking b---oxz and being old miserys.
She loved Meatloaf's 'Bat Out of ****', and though it was not played at her funeral, I think I will attach that song to her remembrance.
What a wise bird. People are so strong and kind, weak and flawed, but ultimately so bl**dy precious.
I salute your recent friend and everybody struggling. It is truly good to be alive. I just wish we didn't have to keep learning how little we know. It is so humbling.
You are so right, Fairy - it is good to remember how fortunate we are and to grasp life by the throat and live it to the best.
Thank you so much for sharing. I have been bouncing between a weird kind of joy and guilt / sadness for a few days, so I needed the opportunity to share something myself ... sometimes it is hard to know where to begin.
Take good care.