March 23rd, 2004

life begins - me

weirdness take 2

Back from the funeral now, hence the weirdness. I guess I've been lucky in some ways in that I've only been to five funerals in my 29 years and all of them have been since I was 16. I never know what's expected of me, or of anyone else to be honest. The previous four I rode in the funeral car but for Sandra's I drove to it myself, I got to the church really early because I was meeting my sister there and I didn't recognise anyone. Sandra was an Elder in the church (Church of Scotland - an Elder's a big deal) so most of the congregation turned out for her funeral. I knew no one there and they didn't know me so I was hanging about outside waiting for big sis on my own.

And then the funeral car pulls into the driveway and there's my uncle, my cousins and my other uncle (Sandra's brother) and his wife. I didn't know what to do or say so I did and said nothing. Finally sis arrives and we go into the church. Because we were that little bit later than everyone else we were sitting upstairs at the back - yeah, we're close family so we probably should have been downstairs nearer the front but I'm not complaining in the slightest.

The service was strange, I was raised in the Church of Scotland and encouraged to explore my beliefs by both parents, so the structure wasn't a new thing for me although it clearly was for my sister's partner (he's Catholic and was really surprised when everyone stood to sing, for example) but the minister was clearly a good friend of Sandra's and he was close to breaking down.

When the service was over, we got downstairs in time to say a few words to my uncles and cousins and then everyone was gone - heading for the crematorium.

There really should be some kind of written etiquette for funerals, there were lots of people standing around outside the church who clearly didn't know what to do or say and I know I felt useless. I'm glad I went, I wanted to be there for my uncles and cousins, but I still feel weird about the whole thing.

I was in the funeral cortege (is that what it's called? doesn't sound right - the cars following the hearse) and I was brought to tears when we passed a bunch of schoolkids. Every single one of them stopped when they saw the cars and bowed their heads. Kids. 15 years old and every one of them paid their respects to a woman they might not have known. I rag on teenagers a lot right now (especially the ones who use my garden as a shortcut) so to see these kids do this just restores my faith in humanity a little.

Okay, last of the melancholy, I'll be back with icons and maybe a fic later.
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