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.