Yesterday. Sat up front in the hearse. Traveling a sedate 20 mph. Using the back roads to avoid traffic congestion. Narrow and twisty country lane, not the place to meet a hearse, if you are in a hurry. The vehicle was immaculate. The driver, serious and polite. Me? Grief bubbling in deep recesses I didn’t know were there. The drive a much appreciated space to compose and prepare.
Funeral people are a committed bunch. They derive deep satisfaction in their job. They are helping people who need their support at a difficult time. They have presence, sincerity, professionalism. What if you need to make an emergency stop? I asked. No worries he said, the coffin is secured to the bed of the hearse with a number of clamps. Thank goodness.
At a Chinese funeral, the driver told me, he was given a red ‘good luck’ envelope with a pound coin in it. Put it on the mantelpiece. It brought me good luck too, within a year. Got employed full time and then able to buy our house. I’m thinking, this chap has accumulated some spiritual merit along the way.
Yesterday, seems so far away now. In fact it is now the day before yesterday that I went to conduct the cremation ceremony for my late employers wife, who became a good friend. It will have to be another day before I have the chance to write more….
Deep bows to those of you who I met and who now come looking here. I have to say the ceremony was an unconventional adventure and one I will always, but always, remember.