Another day, another funeral, this time that of a beautiful, seemingly indestructible woman, a sad reminder that none of us gets out of here alive. Yet this funeral, under slate grey skies in often torrential rain, was bright, more uplifting than most and, in between the tears, uplifting.
I had prepared myself thoroughly so as not to cry and this time my strategy lay in tatters. My plan to remain calm had always worked before. Yesterday, until I was finally able to get it through to myself that the service was not about me, I was swept away with emotion. Then, a young child sitting just behind us gurgled and let out a brief shout. My sense of perspective returned. We were here to mourn, yes, but we were also here to celebrate a life well lived, a life in which there were no regrets and not far away was the sound of new life, a life beginning. The changing of the guard.
My dear friend Grant spoke wonderfully well about his mother June, utterly heartfelt, deeply moving and, quite rightly, with great comedy timing. Though not a religious ceremony, June’s spirit was everywhere, spreading the love all around. And love, as Lennon and McCartney put it, is all you need.
The chapel was a haven of peace, a joyous step away from all the hate and cynicism that hangs across our land, like an immovable black cloud. If you have a God, then he was in his heaven.
The feeling of loss from a loved one lasts forever. The initial pain and sadness slowly subsides, but it never leaves you. And why would you want it to? Money, the so called ‘good’ things in life, the things you buy, the cars you drive in, the big house you live in, the size of your bank account; they aren’t the good things at all. The good in life is the people who made you what you are, the people you love and the people who love you.
It was a privilege, an honour, to be invited to share what was an unforgettable afternoon. The sun didn’t shine on June, but it was there, high above the clouds, and soon it would change the dark to light. And when it shines, it shines for you, June. You brought light into a world of darkness.