Went to yet another friend's funeral yesterday.
Not too close a friend but a friend nonetheless ,,, one I've partnered to victory on the golf course, so close enough ?
We get all dressed up ,,, like he would have cared whether we wore suits with dress shirts, club or black ties, freshly polished black shoes or not ?
This was wee John McGraw, a wee, man's man ,, he wouldn't have given a shit if we'd all turned up in dungarees .,,. but I'm sure he would have been pleased to see that we did turn up ! A bit embarrassed maybe ,, but quietly chuffed.
We arrived early ,,, can't be late for the last hurrah ? We sat in the car, Smackmaknee & me, and watched them coming ,.,. they arrived in dribs & drabs ,, they got out of their cars, they chatted, they smoked, they hugged, they laughed ,,, yep, they bloody laugh all the time at funerals ,, it's obscene ,, no it's not really,,, it's a cover for their grief isn't it ? ,, a peculiarly Scottish thing I wonder ?? They smoke some more, them that all know of wee John's lung cancer, his emphysema and finally his heart attack ,.,. all smoking related ,.,.,. but they don't care ,, or think ? or maybe they just don't care to think ??
We're still sitting in the car as they all make their way to the queue for the chapel ,.,.,.
We better get ourselves out there too ,,,,
Oh Hi Jim, hello Tom ,,, aye Dougie, here we go again ,,, nice day for it ,,, and on & on .,,.the small talk.
We pass wee John himself ,, lying there in that coffin in the back of such a Limo as he would never have been in alive .,,. what a pity the wee man couldn't at least have enjoyed this last wee bit of affluence, luxury ,.,.,. neither him nor the wee wife, for didn't she drop down dead with a heart attack of her own only 3 months past ,,, brought on by being John's full time carer they say ?
Then we're in the chapel seats ,, must be 200/230 friends and family here ,, a good turn out for a quiet, wee, ordinary guy ,.,. Eva Cassidy sings "Somewhere over the Rainbow " as we sit down ,,
The wee man makes his entrance, carried on the shoulders of six of his closest family, friends ,.,. His daughter is near hysterical in her grief ,, great howling tears flood her face ,,, her man cuddles her close ,,
We have a bit of a chat from the "Human Society" female ,,, this is to be a non Church, non Chapel, completely non religious affair. She tells us as much as she's learned in the last two days about our friend !! Then we sit for a few minutes and listen to "Moon River" by Danny Williams for Christ's sake ! ,.,. A wee special poignant poem from one of his granddaughters and next thing we know we're being ushered out again ,, Tony Bennett starts to sing about the loveliness of Paris ,,, and losing his heart in San Francisco ,.,.,. was wee John ever there I wonder ? The recording sticks and repeats ,, and sticks & spins too fast ( Tony on Helium ! ) ,, and is finally silenced before the family even clear the premises !!
Then we're all back at Cowglen ,, now the laughter just cascades through the lounge ,, the drink flows, the jokes are told ,, the stories of days gone by ,, with or without the leading man having played a part ! It's such an absurd ritual ,, we have the free drink to/from the wee man ,,, we have soup and steak pie ,, (or fish of course !),, we spend an hour or two laughing, giggling, telling jokes, eating, drinking, just being there ,,,, but in the end ,,, he's gone ,, we're gone ,,
What is/was it all about ???
I guess for me Funerals just Suck.