This week we said farewell to an old friend. She had suffered long and stoically and, following a lengthy illness, has gone to her maker. But to the last she did it with style and flair.
Our dear friend, her husband, is the richest man in the county with a reputation for being somewhat, now how can I put this delicately, parsimonious? So when he announced that he refused to pay the scandalous cost of transportation and was going to take his wife to the crematorium in the back of his estate car we were, as you can imagine, slightly alarmed.
My husband, a very conventional Roman Catholic, was aghast and tried to reason with him. It wasn’t fitting, she deserved to go with more dignity etc. etc. Our friend was unconcerned and, paying no heed to convention, stuck to his guns.
I told my husband that there was no need to worry and I was quite right. The service was dignified and simple, and our friend’s eulogy was both touching and insightful. It was obvious from what he said that he had devoted his life to his wife but now had been her time to go. It was very moving.
He later explained that he didn’t want her to take her last journey in the company of strangers. Having looked after her during the 25 years of illness this was to be his final goodbye. It had given him the opportunity to have one last talk to her. And that, I believe, was the real reason behind his eccentric decision. That and the money!
We don’t do things like other generations, never have done, never will. Rock on.
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