Preparing For A Funeral
Good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Tonight’s topic – a funeral – may surprise you, but even funerals can be enjoyable. The tale may be a little long, but I make no apologies – besides, I am the LSG and I don’t need to apologise for anything!
Firstly, I like travelling with youngest sibling, even to a funeral – he’s about the only person I know (male or female) who doesn’t raise an eyebrow when you ask, ‘Is it OK to take four jackets?’ – mainly because he has also packed four jackets! (one for if it’s fine and mild, one for if it’s fine but cold, one for if it’s wet but mild and one for if it’s wet but cold)
Where Is It?
Be sure to arrive early for the service so that you can find out exactly where you need to go. Unfortunately, you find nothing to indicate whether to go to the North Chapel or the South Chapel and no one around to ask. Leave youngest sibling standing in the doorway of the South Chapel, sheltering from the pouring rain (coat – the one for ‘wet but cold’) and go on the search for any helpful signs. Luckily, you find a (tiny) waiting room and also spot someone who looks as if he might know what is going on. He says that the service will be in the North Chapel and points to a large door right next to the waiting room, so you fetch youngest sibling and take a seat in the waiting room as time passes and you wait for others to join you. Suddenly, a disembodied voice rings around the waiting room: ‘Hello! It’s nice to see you here.’ You both jump because the waiting room is not big enough to hide a mouse, let alone another person. Confusion – even terror! – reigns until you spot a speaker up in the corner of the room, which is obviously relaying the voice of the minister taking the service. Phew! Not a voice from above, then!
Five minutes before the service is due to start, despite there being no one else around, which you find rather surprising, you decide you’d better make your way into the chapel and you head
for the door indicated earlier. The door opens directly into the chapel and you are followed in by a strong gust of wind that blows all the Order of Service programmes onto the floor from the pews. The minister looks a little surprised at your entrance and tells you to sit at the back – he’s obviously spotted that you are troublemakers – before going around replacing all the programmes on the pews. Two minutes later, the door opens to allow the family and a huge crowd of mourners to enter – unfortunately, the door was not the one through which we had entered! We had come in through the back door, so to speak, which explained the faint looks of surprise on the faces of those entering to see two people already in place. It was a lovely funeral service, with some great singing, although you have to restrain yourself from shouting ‘Wales! Wales!’ at the end of ‘Calon Lân’, because that is your usual response during a rugby game. (I’m sure Speedy Freda would have approved!)
It is then on to the post-funeral refreshments at a local rugby club – I have to say, dear followers, that the Valleys can equal any top-flight London restaurant when it comes to putting on a spread. Please don’t expect cheese and pineapple on sticks any longer – oh no, the cheese and the pineapple were served in separate dishes. There was even a pot of hummus. Dead posh! And vegetarians were amply catered for – at the far end of the table was a small plate with a little flag saying ‘Veggie’ and on the plate were two slices of quiche and half a tomato (cut in a posh way, of course). They were still there at the end, as was most of the hummus, so vegetarians are not yet running rampant in the Valleys.
You might be wondering where the ‘four friends’ of the title come in – they were the LSG and Speedy Freda’s son and two daughters, some of the LSG’s oldest friends. ‘But what about youngest sibling?’ you cry. ‘Doesn’t he count as a friend?’ Well, of course he does, but that would have spoiled the title!
A day of tears and laughter, but that’s what the best funerals are all about – and this was one of the best! Nigel, Karen, Sarah, you did your Mam proud. Nos da, Freed.