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.
2 thoughts on “Yesterdays Hearse”
I offer my thoughts for those who are left with the ‘loss’ of your friend.
I recall ‘Departures’ a 2008 Japanese film by Y?jir? Takita. A moving (or so I thought) story of life, death and dignity. A cellist finds a new life and deeper understanding of life when he takes a job prepaiing the bodies of the deceased.
I like that ‘the ceremony was an unconventional adventure’.
Grief does bubble up…I talked to my sister on Sunday and she asked if I still had sad moments “Bubbling up” when my Mom came into my thoughts, and yes it still happens and we talked about it. And since Spring is on the way, I bought some silk flowers, daffodils, etc and placed them around the picture of my Mom on the shelf under our altar. Each morning I bow to those who meant so much to me, who have gone before…and yes, even those who’ve been gone a long time…cause a bubbling up of grief, but also a bubbling up of gratitude, and of course a smile thinking about the time we shared. Be well, Rev. M. Mugo! I’m off to the Temple tomorrow.