Sometimes the order of events is important.
This morning was a funeral for a woman that I had never met, with a family I immediately became fond of. It’s such a strange thing sailing into someone’s life when they are at their most vulnerable, and asking them to share with you stories they may never have told anyone. But when they are willing, it is a huge privilege — and it makes for a better funeral.
In the aftermath of the funeral, I was supposed to be writing service booklets. But I didn’t. Funerals always leave me exhausted. I don’t know how my colleagues in the established church cope. So I spent the afternoon wandering around town, getting a mirror for over the fireplace, hooks, cord, nails… stopping for tea and a sandwich… then home to Molly who spent a very relaxed hour on my lap.
Tonight, it was off to a ‘castle’ for the primary school concert. I met the man who keeps my car running and the undertaker (who will be so much easier to deal with now that I see he is like his son). I then found myself leading the carol singing when the CD player broke down (strangely reminiscent of my singing Thine be the Glory at funerals: volume over style). And finally, I discovered a new recipe for mulled wine (crème de cassis is the trick, it seems).
It was a good day. But I am thankful the funeral came first. It would not have done at all for the funeral director and I to have danced Christmas conga lines last night, then have to face a funeral procession together in the morning.