Monday, January 19, 2009

There's Funerals & then there are funerals !

Had to attend two funerals this past week !
Not my favourite pastime I hasten to add, but family & friends needs must.
First we had Wullie .,., a self induced early death, at 62. Wullie was the younger brother of our pal Jim but the two seldom got on and laterly rarely even talked.
Wullie you see was something of a heid-case ! Into drink & drugs in a big way for manys a long year he had been warned often to get himself cleaned up or depart this mortal coil ,,,
He chose the latter and who's to say he was wrong ? He lost his only love, the crazy Liz a while back and this, it seems to me, propelled him into the abyss.
And yet, at the very end there she was ,, the bold Liz, large as life and twice as ,,, organising the funeral with their boy. Wullie's drunks & druggies turned up as well as his Maw and ( most of ) his family. I guess he had a turnout of about 25 bodies ( mostly alive but some I'm not quite sure about ,, and neither were they !
"Eh, wher ur we the day ,, eh, who ur we ,,, wull we get a wee drink here d'ye think ?"
It was a bloody disaster of course ,, from the minute the priest hobbled into the crematorium with his broken leg and shouted at Liz ,, "Whit wis his name again hen ?" followed by ,.,.
Dis anyo'ye know the Rosary ? ,,, the Hail Marys ?
The "service" was like something out of the dark ages ,, all hell & damnation and how we'd all need to pray if Wullie was ever to make it to Heaven ! Wullie never actually got a mention in the proceedings ,, for this guy rambled on and on about ,, God knows what !
His coffin was carried in to Eric Clapton 's Tears in Heaven .,., ( tears of laughter if they were looking down on this farce ) and we moved out to some 60's psycho-instrumental which stuck in the Cd player ,, fittingly I thought, but which then gave Liz the excuse to harrang the operator of the music machine ,.,. "Whit did ye dae wi' my Cd son ?" she threw at him on her way out of the chapel ,, "it wis aw scratched missus ", he told her handing back the disc with "Wullie's Funeral-- Jan 2009" written on it in Red ink ! ,, ,,
Jim, the deceased's big brother, spoke not one word to his old mother, his aunt, his brother's ex wife, or his last drunken bidie-in ,.., in fact no one ,, and didn't join them later for the traditional sandwich & swally .,,.
We, me & the missus, and Jim's daughter & son -in- law were invited back to his place for different sandwiches & undoubtedly different swallys !!
A funeral like no other I've ever attended !

Then, just two days later we were in a packed St Anthony's Chapel in Govan .,.,
The very angels were singing as we entered .,,.
A turn out bigger than any I've seen before ,, must have been 3-400 people packed into the Chapel for what I assume was a High Mass ? And the overflow area at the rear was also full.
Our own Amanda's "uncle" Danny passed away after a year or two's illness .,,. he was 81
Danny was a nice wee guy ,, lots of friends obviously, as well as a huge family, a popular wee fella in Church circles too from the looks of it ,.,. We had 4-priests, 2-women "scripture readers"and the pack came complete with eh, an absolutely abysmal organist ! ( she really needs to go for a few more piano lessons I'm afraid ! )
There was much upping & downing ( even to the knees for some ! ) as seems to be the norm in Catholic churches ( nae wonder these Fenians are fit ! ) ,.,. The service was splendid ( if you were of a religious bent ), there was much praise heaped on the wee man ,, a true celebration of his life rather than a weeping & wailing at his passing.
But the highlight of the day for me, and most of the participants in the church, was Wee Danny's goodbye to his beloved Dad. He told us firstly of his mum's strength this past wee while and especially this last few days, his sister, their friends and neighbours ,.., all the help and words of comfort they'd received ,,, he then told us of his father's last hours.
Old Danny had by now been in his hospital bed for some weeks and was suffering a bit with bed sores ,,, but he wouldn't bother the nurses with his pain ,, "these girls have enough to do without me complaining " .,., anyway, on his last night with the family he pulled his dear wife aside as they were leaving .,,. and delivered what were to be his final parting words ,.,.
"Eileen" he said, We've had a good life ,, I'm a happy man, had you, lovely kids, done everything I ever wanted to do, have no regrets ,, but ,,,,
Do you think God is having a laugh ? I'm gonnae die here wi' a sore arse !"
Hahaha .,., Way to go Danny old friend ,, I love it !
Out of the church ,, and on to the Crematorium .,,. absolutely overflowing with mourners ,, no room to park the car ,, 6-deep OUTSIDE the place ,.,. and then to the Glynhill Hotel in Paisley for a fine afternoon of craic with friends & family and a lovely buffet with drinkies ,,,
Cheers Danny & R.I.P.
I'm now working on my own final words and almost looking forward ? to my son or daughter giving the folks a laugh on that day ,,, How about ,,
"He asked me to enter his name on the sheet for tomorrow's medal ?"

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