One of my neighbours died recently, a man aged 102, who lost his wife some years ago. The couple were great friends with my Joe. Bill and his wife Mary would entertain Joe once a week with tales of years gone by. Joe loved those stories and after Mary died he was pleased that Bill continued with the once-weekly story-telling. Bill made doll's houses, elegant ones, unlike those my Dad made for me. They were fabulous but Bill's were very upper class in style, even the furniture had a Regency feel.
Joe and I attended the funeral and later were invited to join with family and neighbours to hear family tales and memories of past years. It was wonderful to hear those stories about days gone by.
This time there were fewer people attending Bill’s funeral, even some close family members were missing. I was invited to attend but couldn't make it to the church. My car has gone to new owners and, since I can't walk like I used to, I had to decline the invitation. However, I did attend the get-together at the house afterwards. Memories of Mary’s funeral made acceptance easy. That time there was much laughter over recalled memories, but this time there was a different atmosphere. Whereas once the family members made sure guests were comfortable and fed, this time there was little communication with anyone. So disappointing that some gathered together for private chats that, judging by the laughter, included fun memories.
I was warmly welcomed and escorted to an easy chair which was a distance away from other chairs. So, there I sat, knowing no-one and talking to no-one. It was a great relief to see another neighbour come in and the next hour was spent exchanging memories with him. I don’t think he was treated any better by the family. I remembered Mary’s funeral and how there were lots of neighbours in attendance, sadly not so with Bill. Only two neighbours this time whereas before there were about ten. At that time there was much laughter over family tales. So sad that Bill left this world without a few jolly words to send him on his way.
A few days later the funeral service programme was put through my door so I was able to read what occurred at the crematorium. It was a nice touch.
I wonder if he and Joe will get together ... nice thought!