Thursday, 11 June 2009

Saying goodbye

Last week a dear friend died and today we will be attending his funeral. He was 66. A few days ago his widow telephoned and asked that OH say a few words at the wake and of course, although not a task to be looked forward to, he feels honoured to be able to do it. She also asked that we join her and some other friends and family members at a gathering at their house yesterday evening and naturally we went along.

Again, not an event we were relishing but it turned out very well. There were about 15 of us, some of us were strangers to each other, some had travelled long distances and she wanted to be sure that today everyone will know someone apart from the immediate family.

The evening began with her explaining that she wanted us all to relax and to celebrate our friend's life. She thanked us for our support during the past difficult months and asked that we raise our glasses and drink a toast to her late husband. We then spent a couple of hours telling each other of our connection with the family and particular memories of our friend. It was not a late evening and perhaps half prepared us for today's events. I think too that it helped the family. What else would they have done on that last awful evening before the final goodbye to their loved one.


Maggie May said...

That truly is an honour that would fill me with trepidation as I hate public speaking! I am pleased it went well. I am sure you had some really appropriate things to say about your friend & that the relatives were comforted by it.

I have apologised about my bad manners, not immediately responding to the blog award that you kindly gave me. Please go back to the post & read my comment! I was, very honoured to be mentioned! Sorry!

rosiero said...

What a lovely "custom" for want of a better word. I agree it would help prepare the way for the funeral today and get people talking about the departed before they depart! Far better than everyone just turning up on the day itself and not knowing everyone.

cheshire wife said...

What a good idea. We went to my aunt's funeral on Monday. It would have been nice to have seen my cousins on Sunday night maybe in a happier mood than they were on Monday.

Ladybird World Mother said...

What a wonderful way of spending, as you so rightly say, that awful evening before a funeral. Good for you, for going along and supporting them. Well, for all of you to go along. He must have been a good man. Hope today went ok. Thinking of you. x

Jay said...

It does sound a good idea for everyone. I'm so sorry you lost your friend, and only in his sixties, too. I hope the funeral went well.

Denise said...

I'm so sorry for your friend's loss Anne. I thought it was very impressive that his widow wanted everyone to know each other for the day of the funeral, a very selfless act on her part. Also it says a lot about your husband for her to want him to speak at the wake. I hope the day went well considering the circumstances.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Maggie - OH was very nervous but the day went well. I've been back to have another look at previous post - thank you. A

Rosiero - It certainly did help and the family were pleased too. A

CW - Sorry to hear you had a funeral to attend - hope all went well for you and your family. A

LWM - we knew it would be OK as soon as we arrived. Friend was a good man, well liked and respected. A

Jay - Too young - so much still to do. A

Denise - I admire her very much, as you say, so selfless. A

Thank you all for your kind comments. The day did go well. The church was packed as he had been a very well respected local business man. The family were OK and said they were pleased with the way the previous evening had gone. And the sun shone all day! A x

Cezar and Léia said...

Dear Anne!
So sorry to be here so late today...We travelled to visit sy mommy and I returned just now.
Sorry for your friend's loss.
Glad to see you strong and I'm very proud of you going along and supporting them.
God bless you

Pam said...

How sad, but what a wonderful way to celebrate his life. He was a lucky man to have so many people that cared about him.