Life Ain't Always Beautiful

"Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin' all these lonely miles
And I wish for just one minute I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life dont work that way."

I hate funerals.

Well I suppose everyone does. Except perhaps for funeral directors, and members of the clergy, who make a few bob out of them. What surprises me is what happens at the humanist, celebratory ones. I always figured I’d feel different at them. The idea of replacing the usual maudlin affair with a celebration of life is a great idea. But therein can lie the problem. There you are having a good old knees-up and, sooner or later, you speculate how much so and so would have loved it. And then it’s all too apparent that they’re not there. And then comes the anger at the bitter nature of fate. And if you’re angry, what can her family be thinking? What can you say to an 82 year old mother who’s seen her vibrant, intelligent daughter fade away in front of her? What can you say to children who’ve lost a loving, supportive parent? Empty plaudits and clichés? As I stood there cursing the God that I don’t believe in, the heavens promptly opened with a thunderclap and soaked me. I know Anne would have enjoyed the irony.

Anne was 52 when, like 44000 women each year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, like 12500 other wives, mothers, and daughters this year, she lost her battle for life. Typically she made no fuss, wishing to spare her friends and family. It was only at the very end, with everything taken care of, and wanting to say her goodbyes that she went public. I hadn’t seen her since my big birthday bash some time ago, and the contrast was a shock, if I’m honest. However, she’ll always be “Greggsy” to me. Nothing to do with the bakery-although I did tease her about that-but because of her resemblance to TV presenter Anne Gregg. Who herself succumbed to the big C just two years ago. Anne saw the funny side of that parallel as well. She’d hate me making such a fuss, but I can only tell it as I see it. Of course the world keeps on turning, but I can’t help but think that it’s that little bit poorer today

I hate funerals.

"Life Ain't Always Beautiful" (C) Gary Allan.


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