Monday, January 24, 2005

Funeral musings...

... now I should probably tell you that none of my posts are exactly carefully plotted - but this one is even less thought out than usual. I'll be as surprised as anyone at any conclusions I draw.

Today The Doctors granddad had his funeral and burial in a tiny church near where he spent his entire life. He wasn't a regular church attender although knew the vicar as he had helped out around the church and his late wife was a practising Christian. It was a lovely ceremony, very sad, but moving and inclusive - just what his children wanted.

I don't call myself a Christian, although do have some sense/belief in an all powerful force for good in the universe. I have a real fear of being cremated after I die - all my close family have been cremated and it somehow seems very harsh and 'final'. Leaving the church today I did feel that we had deliberately put him somewhere where he would be cared for and looked after. Not necessarily by God but by someone. That there was something marking his life, and that this would be respected.

While there are many great Christians, organised religion has a lot to answer for. Not all of it good. Yet I can't help feeling more comforted by this mornings ceremony than I have done at any of the cremations I've attended. While I adored Granddad F he was not my blood relative, so I may have been less emotionally fragile than in other situations, and certainly there was no sense of unfinished business.

We had a civil wedding - adapted and extended to include as much of 'us' as possible. I'd always imagined I would have a humanist funeral with burial and it saddens me that there doesn't seem to be a 'place' - meaning bricks and mortar - for it. Hopefully I'll hang on long enough for times to change.

During the ceremony, the vicar remembered going to see Granddad F about ten or twelve years ago when he was about 94 (which would have been around the time his wife, The Docs granny died). On arriving at the house he went in (as we all did) and looked around, not finding him. Starting to worry he came outside to find some legs sticking out from beneath the car parked - he was changing the oil....
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