March has been a busy month. Mostly good things which I will relate in due course (hold on to your hats), but today has not been great.
At midday, I went to the funeral of the mother of a former colleague. She was an older lady and her youngest child was 45 and while it was sad for them, there was a lovely eulogy that showed a life well lived.
Before that, at 10.30, I went to a very different funeral. A woman who lives on the road who is about the same age as myself was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer three weeks ago. She went to hospital for an operation on Wednesday and she was dead on Thursday. We dropped down to the house yesterday to sympathise. I feel I have seen my fair share of corpses recently (it’s one wake after another here) but this lady looked truly dreadful: yellow and bloated. On Monday, someone saw her running in and out of the house to pack her bag for the hospital and now she is dead. Her daughter is an only child and just 15; when they were all younger, she and my children used to play together. Then yesterday she was there sitting on a chair beside her mother’s body welcoming mourners to the house.
The daughter sings in the pro-cathedral choir and her fellow choristers sang at the funeral mass. As herself whispered to me, “Now that’s a choir.” The readings were different from the usual ones as they were all about someone dying early. It was horribly sad and this afternoon we were all a bit wrung and hung around the house doing very little.
More cheerful material tomorrow, perhaps.