From bad to worse - a funereal story

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A broken heart image courtesy of Alex Bruda

I suppose there are people out there who don't hate funerals. Funeral directors, for instance: I expect those guys love them. I know some people are able to see death as a transition - something to be cherished. Good for them, I guess.

Dad's funeral was a beauty.

The bad started with the late service, and the name-dropping vicar who seemingly claimed to have baptised most of those in the current British film industry. Cringeworthy. He then hit on the idea of giving Dad a middle initial he didn't actually have, while also declaring him an only child, even though his brother, my uncle, had just read to us some very touching stories about their youth, and their time spent together in the war. The worse happened later that day, when we returned to the crematorium to collect Dad's remains.

The frustrating thing is I'd seen it coming; I'd told the funeral director just before:

"Mum's got bad arthritis in her hands."

It was presumably part of God's plan, however, for the man to very clumsily hand across Dad's urn to her. We stood there in awed agony, with fragments of pottery scattered around us; our best shoes being slowly dusted by the settling ash. Those brave enough to laugh, laughed. Those nearest Mum just watched her. She started crying. Her tears ran thickly enough to drop to the floor; reconstituting a part of the ash into mud. I guess that was one of those transitions the positive-thinkers talk about.

 

(250 words, excluding title.)

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