I left to go to church early this morning to meet the family of the dead man and to inter his ashes . It is a family I know fairly well and we did what we had to quickly following our instructions.
The church filled up and as they came in I recognised people I'd married, children I'd christened and I realised how entangled you can get with families. If something goes wrong they turn to you...and also if something goes right. We hold a privileged position in this respect .
The man who had died left instructions for us all and thankfully they were much the same with some small tweaks.
My most important job was I think to keep it light but as reading followed reading I realised the massive emotion that was building up.....he had been a much loved man, especially by his siblings who were shocked at an early death.
I decided to try to get the laughter back. This poem by Joyce Grenfell fitted the bill.
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice.
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must
Parting is hell
But life goes on
So sing as well.
He would have liked that I know.