It’s been a reflective month…
I’m just back from my second funeral in three days. Each one was a parent of a good friend. I didn’t really know them personally, but you go to show support to your friends who are upset and need a shoulder to cry on.
At both the celebrant talked lovingly about the people who had died. There were even a few funny stories thrown in, something I was unfamiliar with from the Presbyterian funerals I had been brought up with – it was all live in fear of your God and very little about the person.
Today one of the grandchildren, who is all grown up with a young family of her own, struggled through her tears to talk of the grandpa who had been such an amazing inspiration to her, the things he taught her, the songs they sang together and how there was always a giant bar of Cadbury’s chocolate hiding somewhere. By the time she finished, the congregation too had tears in their eyes. And what a tough gig for her parents to live up to in their new role as grandparents.
The essence of both services (one Christian, one humanist) was that we should live life well, look after and be good to each other. A sad few days but I felt comforted and glavanised by those thoughts!
The two funerals were preceded a few weeks earlier by three graduations at Glasgow University. Fabulous celebrations with friends and family including a wonderful meal at the Ubiquitous Chip! Funnily enough it’s where I took my parents on my first trip back to Glasgow after starting work in London. Such an exciting time to see the young adults pass on from higher education into the big wide world. One of them starts work as a doctor next month, pray I don’t need to visit a hospital on the first Wednesday of August; the day all newly qualified doctors start work, known as ‘Black Wednesday’. The other starts as a vet in September and the third is going travelling. Hopefully they were inspired by the Chancellor’s speech, which if he doesn’t mind I’ll sum up like this – you’ve got the education, life is out there for the taking, so go grab it by the horns.
But it was on this happy occasion and not the funerals that got me a bit reflective. I had a similar speech when I left uni, had I taken life by the horns?
So, how have I done? No, I didn’t become a CEO, a leader in my field, or even get my 15 minutes of fame, am I too late for Love Island, lol! But, I did get the chance to live in London one of the most exciting cities in the world for nearly 20 years, visited on more than one occasion THEE most exciting city in the world, New York, and have been lucky to travel extensively around Europe, North and South America and Australia. I’ve even climbed the highest mountain in south east Asia, Mount Kinabalu!!
So not bad… I think I grabbed the horns reasonably well!