I seem to have been surrounded by bereavement this week. Beginning with my beloved sister Sue, it is the fourth anniversary of her death in a few days` time and I always find myself becoming emotional around this part of the year…. then there is my ex partner whose much loved brother-in-law passed away suddenly a few months ago and finally, I received news yesterday that an old flame, someone very special to me, died last year the news taking its time to reach me. So all in all, I`ve had enough of death. Yah boo sucks to death! I told my daughter yesterday, I am going to live until I`m a hundred and two and death can hang around for a bit for me until I`m good and ready.
Fortunately, my mother brought me up to have a healthy attitude to death and to see dying as the natural conclusion to our lives so I`m not afraid of dying and only occasionally concerned about the manner in which I die. One has to remain philosophical although some people would argue that I do have some control, I can live a healthy lifestyle and try to maximise my chances I suppose.
I have also inherited from my dear mama, an irreverent attitude to death and just like she used to, I often find funerals quite funny in a dark sort of a way. Take Fred Pierce the fish monger`s funeral as an example. When everyone gathered around the crematorium after the service my mother glanced towards the chimneys and said to my brother in an audible whisper, `Alan, do you smell fish?` Then there is an acquaintance of mine, Jonny, who was attending his father`s funeral. Jonny is a stereotypical white working class Brummy racist. As I later listened to news of the service I was quite entertained. I understand it was conducted by a Jamaican vicar who was black.
When my beautiful friend Simon took his life many years ago, the church was packed and there was standing room only. Simon`s father was a minister and when Simon came out to him as gay, his father was so appalled by his son`s sexuality that he banished Simon from his church telling him that if he entered that holy place, he would taint it. So it was very poignant to observe his father`s face as hundreds of people who like me, loved Simon deeply, rocked up to his funeral in an outrageous and incredibly flamboyant outpouring of love expressed in all the colours of the rainbow, just as Simon would have wanted it. So death, yes, it`s a funny old thing. This morning one of my friends sent me this in an e mail and I like it, it`s apt and it`s loving and most of all, it`s true.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you well.
Love the ones who don’t just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
God never said life would be easy.
He just promised it would be worth it.