Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(( The Circle of Umbrellas ))


A dear friend of mine died over Christmas and I attended his funeral last Thursday. Strangely enough the crematorium is just around the corner from my home. I had never attended a service there before and was surprised at how small the chapel area is, with just a few rows of pews and not much else. My friend was 82, so I guess he had a long life and certainly lived it to the full. He had a great deal of influence on my own life with his well travelled youth and bumptious character and the fact that he was very intelligent, but did not flaunt it or try to make others feel stupid. He was what we would call every one's friend, without an enemy in the world. After the funeral I walked outside to take a look at the flowers which had been placed for him and then we all went for a buffet meal at a small pub. Foolishly I had left my umbrella in the chapel and felt very upset about this because the umbrella was quite old and I'd had it for many years. You could say that I had become very attached to it. Especially on rainy days.

The following day I called the crematorium and a lady answered the phone. I explained that I had left my brolly there and she said that they would look for it and call me back later. Four days passed by and yesterday I received a call saying that they had found the umbrella and was welcome to go along there to pick it up. So today I went along to pick it up. It was a pleasant feeling having my trusty old brolly back in my hand and I would even go as far to say that I felt slightly emotional....Silly me!

Upon leaving the chapel I was struck by the vibrant colours of all the flowers that had been laid on the small tombstones which lay in the cemetery area. So struck was I, that I decided to take a stroll around and look at some of the stones one by one. Many of the graves had flowers and cards laid on them. Some were birthday cards and others were Christmas cards. One common thing which really caught my eye were the tomb stones that had photos on them of the person who had died. I had never come across this before. There was something very moving about this gesture and in my mind it really made a strong connection between the living and the dead, what is now and what will be. Some of the graves were of very young people and it was clear from all the flowers, cards and small toys left on these stones that they are missed very much. I could not hold back the tears in my eyes as I read some of the messages that had been left. One grave had two lanterns placed on it, with actual burning candles inside.

Well it certainly gave me a jolt and made me realise how time goes by so fast and how finite our lives really are. The moral of this story is to live life to its fullest. Unlike my umbrella, once life has disappeared, it can not be found again.

(Misterduncan) ..............................................................

2 comments:

Irina said...

Hello, James!
I’m very sorry for your loss!
But I think, if somebody had long, interesting and full life there is nothing to grieve for. Instead of feeling sadness, we have to remember how much gladness this person brought in our life and how many good moments we shared with him.
When my grandmother died four years ago, I was very depressed; she brought me up. But later I started thinking how many love, energy and knowledge she gave the other children and me (she was a teacher) during her life and my pain became weaker.
Now I have only pleasurable recollections without sorrow.
Irina
P.S. I have never thought that it would be so difficult to express myself in English. :)

lovex88 said...
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