Monthly Musing – July 2019 – Circle of life
There’s nothing like a funeral to bring a bit of perspective to life, is there? One day you’re grumbling about the heat and whether small daughter is going to any tidying up at all in her bedroom over the holidays, the next you’re travelling on a train to the other side of the country to say a final goodbye to Uncle Mick, my husband’s cousin.
Being the laid-back kind of person that he was, he would probably just shrug his shoulders and say, “Everything happens for a reason”. He was a retired firefighter so I can imagine that he had his own perspective on life and mortality, and he also had time to make plans for his own funeral – something which must surely be a bit scary as well as being a comfort – which is why we all wore sports shirts instead of something black (but not for the football team that we support as they are arch-rivals of the one that he supported and he didn’t want that at all!).
I don’t remember going to many funerals as a child – I was probably kept away from them and besides, they were for “old people” (funny how my view on that has changed as I’ve got older!) – whereas our girls have always come with us, especially if they have been for someone that they knew well. We have tried not to turn someone dying into something that is to be feared or spoken about in hushed tones – as Uncle Mick would say, “Everything happens for a reason”. Death is just part of the circle of life, to quote a certain lion-themed film, and isn’t something that we have ever hidden from them – after all, it’s the one certainty in life (although hopefully not for any of us just yet) and is something that every family experiences at one time or another. I try to think that the person who is no longer with us has just stepped away from their body, a bit like leaving a worn-out car on a garage forecourt, and that they are free now to be well and happy. I know that’s not everyone’s view and everyone is entitled to think whatever they like – it probably doesn’t matter really as one day we’ll all know exactly what the right answer is, won’t we?
So instead of grumbling about untidy bedrooms, and how much washing seems to be constantly in the washing basket despite it just being emptied, and who’s eaten all the tomatoes and left the empty packet in the fridge, I’m going to sit down with my brew and enjoy the morning sunshine for just a little bit longer. I’m going to close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun on my face and the warmth of the mug in my hands and I’m going to be grateful that I am here to feel them both.
The jobs will still be there in ten minutes’ time.