Saturday, 28 July 2012

Modern Mores Pt.468

Last Friday it was my grandmother’s funeral. She’d only been a few weeks off her 100th birthday, but a gallstone and the ensuing infection made sure she didn’t quite make it.

We waited, me, my mum, sister and brother-in-law, mum’s cousins and a couple of Nan’s neighbours, in the supermarket car park just outside her flat for the hearse to arrive. It wove a circuitous route through Parkstone where she lived longest. The atmosphere was rather different from the horrible strain of my Dad’s funeral only 6 months ago, and so I caught more of people’s reactions as the hearse went past. Mostly people don’t do anything, beyond looking very obviously uncomfortable; a good few don’t notice (perhaps they don’t notice anything going on around them, some people don’t), and I only saw one individual who actually made any positive response to the presence of the dead. He was a middle-aged man doing some work on a house, and paused on the scaffolding as we drove past, and saluted. I thought that was rather lovely. Of course he had no idea whose body was being transported along the street, but that shouldn’t matter. We ought to acknowledge the passage of one of our brothers and sisters, as a recognition of our common humanity. It’s a shame we don’t know how anymore.

1 comment:

  1. "Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."