Ashes to Ashes

Today has been a day for reflection. A day to get through. A difficult day. Today an old friend was buried.

I put on a clean shirt, pulled my suit from it’s bag, took care over the windsor knot in my tie, polished my shoes, and held my better half’s hand as we walked into the quiet parish Church together. We found a spot near the back, and quietly waited as the pews filled with family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances of our friend.

I was doing ok, right up until the parents took turns to address the congregation. I think having children changes you somehow. I used to be able to deal with funerals, but seeing the world through a parent’s eyes is somehow closer to home – somehow more affecting. My other half passed me a tissue, and grabbed my hand.

I didn’t say the prayers. It would have felt hypocritical. I listened though – I listened to stories about childhood, life, adventure, friendship, character, and wanted to applaud some of those that spoke – but of course you don’t do that at funerals. The church was filled beyond capacity, and yet you could have heard a pin drop throughout.

Outside the coffin was lowered into the ground, and the sound of flowers thudding onto it’s lid echoed around all those present. An ex-colleague I haven’t seen for years stood in a long coat at the side of the church path – we approached each other and hugged – no words were exchanged. It’s a strange and powerful thing, loss.

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