I am just back from the funeral and, I have to say, it was one of the best I've ever been to. If you overlook the fact that the chapel at the crematorium couldn't look more like a nuclear bunker if it tried, that is, and the vertical rippled concrete strata behind the vicar kept making my eyes go funny; at one point I thought I was coming down with pre-migraine visual disturbances, but it was just the effect of the stripes.
The vicar gave a eulogy that was worthy of a good standup comic - she had great timing and had got some terrific anecdotes from my mother-in-law resulting in peals of laughter from the large congregation on several occasions.
But the thing that made this funeral stand out for me more than any other was the singing. My father-in-law was quite a important cog in the wheel of the local church for many years, and they'd all come to pay their last respects. And many of them were in the church and/or local choirs. And this is Wales - we're talking full-blown Welsh Male Voice Choir stuff here. None of your lily-livered English tuneful warbling here, oh no, they filled their lungs and absolutely raised the roof, with proper harmonies and everything. I was not expecting it. I was sitting in the front row with the rest of the family, doing fine and not getting upset, until this unbelievably gorgeous noise hit the back of my head and that was it - in seconds my tissue was soaked with tears. I cannot describe how fantastically moving it was, especially as the first hymn was in Welsh and I had never heard it before. I really wish now that I'd had the foresight to try and tape it on my iPhone but you don't think about things like that during a funeral, do you? I found a youtube video of the hymn and have posted it below. I hope you watch it, it's not long and the welly they give it at about the 2:00 mark is what I heard today - hair-raising stuff.
I'm so, so pleased it was this magnificent - they gave the old boy a rousing good send-off and it was a shame he wasn't there because he'd have loved it. All funerals should be this good.
The price of health
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