07 March 2013

Oh what a day it was... such a day...

Never before have I said I enjoyed a funeral, but I’m saying it now. Aunt Florence’s send off was lovely. Although there was a chill in the air it was a beautiful sunny day and I know Florence would have been pleased about that.

There were two services, one at the church Florence went to whenever she could, and the committal ceremony at the crematorium. At the church service my cousin Elizabeth, who is a lay preacher, read a well-constructed résumé of Florence’s life. The eight cousins had all been asked to provide details of their memories of our aunt and it was wonderful to hear the different tales. The longstanding joke of my 11 year old aunt dropping me on my head when I was a baby was tagged on at the end. I was sitting in the front row in the church but I could hear the ripple of laughter quite plainly.

Afterwards there was a buffet in the pub next door to the church (strange how those two buildings go together). Since the funeral wasn’t taking place until 2.30pm I had taken son Jon and his partner, Karen, out to lunch so it was a bit of a struggle to eat more food ... but we managed.  I think we were more interested in drinking tea than eating ... yes I know it was a pub but I only saw tea being served. 

The gathering was as expected ... huge. The Scottish section of the family travelled down to our part of the world and it was interesting to see how the children had grown and the adults had aged. It is strange that families only get together at weddings and funerals but there are sizeable distances between our respective families so it is understandable. It had been nine years since we last met up so you can imagine there was a lot to discuss. But not a lot about Florence. She was just ‘there’ amongst her family and friends and it all seemed incredibly natural.

A lot was made of my elevation to oldest family member and I kept reminding them that I’m probably next to go. Mind you, I didn’t say when; I wonder if anyone will prove me wrong?

Yes I enjoyed the day. It was great to see everyone and talk over old times. 


  1. It always sounds a odd thing to say "a funeral was lovely" but I know exactly what you mean Valerie. My friend Bernadette's funeral on Tuesday was lovely. As we get older it is, inevitably, on our minds that we could be the next to go, but I always say "you go when your time is up, so there's no point in worrying about it". :)

  2. That is the way I would want to go. A real celebration and opportunity for family to gather.

  3. ((((( Val )))))) It's good the send off was such an experience for those she left behind.
    But about all eyes on you.....

  4. Valerie, I had such a BIG smile on my face while reading this post, because it reminded me so much of the memorial that we had for my mother back in November.

    It felt more like a happy celebration of life, rather than something sad.

    " I was sitting in the front row in the church but I could hear the ripple of laughter quite plainly."

    Yes, it was the same here - lots of laughter could be heard.

    Thanks so much for sharing you day, dear lady. Loved reading about it!

    ((((((( You ))))))


  5. I'm glad it was a lovely time at your aunt's funeral Valerie. It does seem strange to say, but if we consider if as a celebration of their life, it makes things easier, especially when our dearly departed have lived a full one. I remember my parents funeral, we saw so many relatives we hadn't seen in years, and when they talked of their memories of my mum and dad, that was truly lovely and my heart ache a little less.

  6. Pearl, fortunately I'm not worrying about it. It's good to have a laugh about it, though. Like my aunt I want to make sure everyone enjoys my send-off, whenever it

    Ron, I remember your post describing mother's memorial, and I remember how happy you were that it was such a happy celebration. Like I said to Pearl, I now want to ensure that friends and relatives enjoy my memorial. I have already prepared a plan, but I keep changing it because it has to be right ... smiles.

  7. I think you may as well try and enjoy a funeral. For an older person dying, it is a time for the relatives to gather together and reminisce and as you say, look and see who's new to the family, who has aged etc. Of course it is a whole different thing when a younger person dies. Then there is the sense of a life unfinished, opportunities missed, words left unsaid and so on. I'm glad you found the occasion rewarding and thank you for sharing.

  8. sounds like a very nice send off
    for your Aunt.

  9. Glad to hear it went well, you had a wonderful time, and your Aunt got a great celebration. Hope all is well, Val. Take care.


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