Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday Murmurings

None of us were looking forward to Mike’s funeral but, in the end, it was almost a happy occasion.  It was good to hear about his life and when he met Joy.  He was a Master Mariner who loved the sea and they had spent many years abroad. He spent 16 years in Libya and had the doubtful pleasure of meeting Colonel Gadaffi.  Mike was passionate about music and I’m sure would have approved of the family’s choices.  Some of it was unfamiliar to me but Joy is going to give me the titles.

It was ‘family flowers only’ and Joy had chosen exquisite wreaths to decorate the coffin, predominately white with a hint of blue to represent the sea.  The grandchildren were travelling down that morning and brought more flowers and a single rose from the latest baby great- grandchild.  Happily Mike had managed to meet both great- grandchildren.

Joy’s son and daughter were a great help with all the decisions that have to be made and one of them found the old battered poetry book that had always travelled with him.  They chose a poem by Robert Browning – ’A Woman’s last word’.  It was to be read by his daughter – with the proviso that the celebrant would take over if necessary.  With great courage she finished the chosen verses.  I discovered that one can maintain complete control over emotional sound but silent tears will flow.

With all Joy has had to cope with the last few years she has still managed to help with Cancer Care and we were invited to donate to this in lieu of flowers.  All four of our quartet has dealt with cancer so it was a popular choice for us.  We were invited to join the family at an hotel overlooking the sea for refreshments and it was like old times when – eventually - the four of us were sitting at a table in the conservatory and delightful when the grandchildren drew up chairs and joined us.  Both grandson and granddaughter showed us a photo of their respective babies on identical phones with identical cracks where said babies had hurled them - as babies do.

Margaret had arrived to stay with us the night before and discussing funerals she said she and her husband had both written a précis of their lives to have to hand when the occasion arises.  I think this is an excellent idea and suggested we did the same.  I expect I shall have to drag it out of MTL and write it myself.

It’s good to know Mike is at peace at last and Joy has a loving and supportive family.  I know in our small way our trio will help.  She phoned us the morning of the funeral and introduced us to everybody as her three best friends.  My wish is that we can continue our friendship as long as possible and that Joy can now give time to herself and her health and well being.


mapstew said...

Rest in peace mike.

What a wonderful thing this friendship such as you share with your quartet. Wonderful and beautiful and precious. :¬)


angryparsnip said...

It was nice that a sad day turned a lovely time with Joy , family and friends remembering Mike.
I think that is the most we all can ask. Family and friends.

Take care Pat.

cheers, parsnip

Anonymous said...

Not a robot, St Jude.

It is nice that you shared this time with your friend and were able to offer her the support that was needed, then and going forward.

R. Sherman said...

Lovely memories, dear. I'm sure your friend was happy for your presence.

rashbre said...

It seems that what could be a sad day also had the happiness of a positive celebration of Mike's life.

Also the great support, kindnesses and friendships you have in your close circle.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Not all funerals have to be such dreary affairs. My mother's funeral was a celebration and an opportunity to see old friends. Not one dark moment! She wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Mike and Ann said...

It was great that Mike was able to meet both his great-grandchildren; and Joy is very fortunate in having such good friends.

Pat said...

Map: yes we have been lucky - long may it continue.

Parsnip: it was a sort of ten plate for future ones I think.

Randall: I know she enjoyed hearing how smashing we thought her grandchildren were.

Rashbre: I think when one has reached one's eighties a celebration is in order. It is the younger ones that are tragic.

UB: I want a party atmosphere and have already presented my men with
elegant yellow ties to be worn.

Mike and Ann: she really deserves good friends and it's a two way thing.

belleek said...

it sounds as if it was a perfect send-off. I envy you your four strong friends .... you are very lucky.

well done for planning ahead.

Judy (kenju) said...

A nice tribute to him, Pat.
we lost a nice neighbor over the weekend; not one I knew well, since she had been ill for most of my time here. But it is always sad, no matter who it is.

Pat said...

Beleek: just the three - I'm the fourth:)

Judy: thank you. Not many young ones now on our part of the hill.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is so wonderful that the four of you are so very close....I know it will be a great great confort in the months to come.
It sounds like a lovely tribute to Mike, dear Pat....And what a good idea to write something ahead of time---especially for the family.

This is my third time trying to put in these word verification things., Impossible.

Pat said...

Naomi: I'm sorry you are having trouble. I'll se if I can fix it.

Marjolein said...

Proper friends can make a world of difference when you're going through a tough time. Sounds like a wonderful funeral though - the type where you celebrate the life more than the loss.

Pat said...

Marjolein: it was very much a celebration of his life. One couldn't wish for him to go on suffering.

Prof. Spooner said...

It's immature to me but I think you mean 'template' not 'ten plate'.

Pat said...

Prof Spooner: I did wonder when I typed it but there was nobody to ask.
You can't be a stranger - immature is one of my oldest jokes:)
Where does template come from - that I may remember it better?