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.

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6 Responses

  1. Alexroosje says:

    Christine, this post is so recognisable! Only in my house it's cookies, not tomatoes, but the washing and untidy rooms… that's universal I think 😄
    Sorry for your loss, it puts everything in perspective. I'm going to a funeral as well this week, it makes one ponder over one's life. Count your blessings is my motto, enjoy life because you never know what's coming your way. Thank you for your blog!

  2. Poppypatchwork says:

    Enjoy the mess, the empty food packets, the noise of a busy house, they grow up so quickly, find their own paths in their lives. They make you proud, but leave you with an empty tidy house. I know which I loved the most.

  3. happy hooker says:

    It's sad that it takes illness and death to make us appreciate what's important, but I suppose it has always been so and always will be. After several horrible years, seeing both sets of parents take ill and slowly die, I now try to look for the good in each day. Not always easy! Enjoy the sun and the untidy bedrooms! xx

  4. MidgePorterDesign says:

    Condolences xx It is true that such things do make us stop and think. I too am surrounded by the niggles of family life (3 girls at home, constantly asking for food, forgetting the washing/ tidying, etc…) but I keep reminding myself that they grow up so quickly and I'll miss all of this one day (though maybe not the washing up!). Bless you and hope you have a nice rest of the summer xxx P.S. When I go I want everyone to party. No black. Play and dance to my favourite music 🙂

  5. Susan Rayner says:

    A lovely and sensitive blog about a topic so many are afraid to address! I like your Uncle Mick's attitude – we don't do black at funerals in our family either – does make you feel that there will always be time for housework – some day!

  6. evelyn b says:

    You are right, death puts everything in perspective. Also about the chores waiting. This is why I have read your blog before doing the housework. Must go and use some elbow grease!

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