Friday, 7 May 2010

So long, farewell

This post is dedicated to a very dear friend of ours who died a few weeks ago. He was nearly 90 and had had, as they say, a colourful life, but was one of life's true charmers in the best possible way. He had wonderful manners, a quietly courteous air and a wonderful sense of humour. A real gentleman.

For the last few years of his life he was in a residential home and we would take him out most weeks for coffee. He had a passion for chocolate and would devour coffee and a chocolate muffin or brownie and then we'd take him shopping – for more chocolate. About £20 worth of those big family bars would last him a fortnight.

He was one of life's special people but sadly had very few visitors. We last saw him in hospital and knew that he didn't have long to live so that last visit was a very sad one, and our real goodbye. Which was just as well as, while a friend told us of his death, no one informed us of the funeral or the wake.

In fact one afternoon last week my sister and law and I were walking Molls and decided to go into a nearby cafe/bar for a cuppa. Mollie nosed open the door, we burst in and I was aware of a lot of people there. Thought it must be a wedding reception. But it dawned on me they were all wearing black. I saw one person who I recognised and thought – out of here!

So we retreated. Fast. Laughing at the incredulity of it all. (Wondering what all those people were doing at his funeral when they couldn't be bothered to see him when he was alive.)

And that night we had our own goodbye to a very special friend.

27 comments:

MarmiteToasty said...

isnt it weird how all the people come out of the woodwork for funerals, yet in life they had nuffin to do with the passed person.....

Its strange they say that turn up out of respect, and lets me honest, funerals aint for the dead really are they, they dont know who is there, but what the dead person would remember would be the people that cared and saw them in life....

So sorry for the loss of your friend.....

oxo

Elaine said...

I guess there are lots of people turn up at a funeral out of respect or duty, especially family members. I'm guilty of that - my cousin died a few years ago and I attended having not seen him for about 10 years. But to not let you know, as a friend, is awful. I'm so sorry for his passing and so sorry you weren't informed.

I spent an entire week with my friend, Tim, at his house before he died. We slept over....we were up at all hours of the day and night. I held his hand when he was alive and I sat in an empty room and held it when he had died, because his wife didn't want him to be alone. I wrote and read his eulogy, which he asked me to do, before he passed away. And then, 12 months on, his ashes were scattered and I wasn't invited.

I think I'll shut up now....but I feel your pain. x

Chris Stovell said...

Sorry for your loss, Sue, but as you know yourself, you are the one with the true memories of a dear friend. I think you were very kind to someone who, it sounds, probably didn't have all the visitors he deserved. You gave him the comfort and contact he needed - good for you.

Talli Roland said...

How lovely that you took the time to see him when he was alive - I am sorry for your loss.

Flowerpot said...

marmie - my thoughts exactly!

Debs said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. I'm sure his life was made all the more fun thanks to your visits and taking him out for his chocolate muffins etc.

I always find it fascinating to hear people say they're going to someones funeral when they clearly either don't know them well, or didn't bother with them at all when they were alive.

Becky said...

I'm sorry for your loss too Sue. He sounds like a such lovely person to have known. It was so good you were there for him.

Flowerpot said...

Elaine - I know how much you did for Tim and that must have made all the difference to his life so well done you. I'm so sorry about his ashes though - aren't peopl;e extraordinary?

Flowerpot said...

Thank you, Chris. We tried to do our best for him but we were the winners - he was such good company.

Akelamalu said...

Oh Flowerpot I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. How unkind that you weren't invited to his funeral when you spent so much time with him. Still he'll know the reason you weren't there. x

Flowerpot said...

Talli - he was someone very special and that's how I will remember him.

Flowerpot said...

Debs - the whole thing abot funerals is very strange isn't it? Fodder for a novel definitely!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Flowers and visits are for the living. Sad, Man seems to do everything backwards. Neglect while alive, attendance when dead.

May you rejoice in the memories of a special friend, Roland

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

So sorry you did not get to the funeral, but at least you have the comfort of knowing you were a true friend and visited the man regularly making his last years enjoyable.

JJ Beattie said...

Flowerpot, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Big hugs to you. Death seems to bring out some very odd behaviour in people.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - I don't think there was any love lost between us and his remaining family!

Flowerpot said...

Roland - good ot meet you and always good to see another writer! You're so right about doing things backwards - crazy isn't it?

Becky - he really was one of the best. Never to be forgotten.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment. And good to meet you, too. Roland

Philipa said...

My condolences, I'm sorry to hear of your friends passing.

Some people would turn up to any 'occasion' as they are the busy bodies who need to be seen to care. No-one told me when the funeral of an elderly person I troubled to talk to was, even though I asked. I wasn't in the clique. It's always puzzled me why relatives you don't know are invited to funerals.

Flowerpot said...

Addy - thanks. Yes we had some funny times over the last few years. Memorable indeed.

Flowerpot said...

JJ - doesn't it just?! Nothing like weddings and funerals for doing that.

Roland - not at all!

Flowerpot said...

Phil - unfortunately you are right. Some people are very strange indeed.

Trubes said...

When my Dear Mama died, one of her two Brothers' went off on holiday to Spain, and the other, whom she hadn't seen for many years, turned up at her funeral. He, and his extremely large wife, got stuck into the lovely buffet, that my sister had prepared.
The said Uncle, used the excuse for not visiting her,that he, and his 'extremely large wife', couldn't visit or, go out much, due to the fact, they both had Diabetes and, herself had Angina too!
I know for a fact, they both had a very active social life in the Local Conservative club but, couldn't find the time to visit a sick, and often, lonely old lady.
The Conservative club was only down the road from Mama's house, yet, they never involved her in any of the social activities, particularly arranged for older/disabled people.
Said Uncle, who was particularly fond of 'blowing his own trumpet', never missed the opportunity to tell anyone, within in earshot, how much they had raised for charity.
Now, what was that little adage?.....'Charity begins at home!

I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend Flowerpot, but I'm sure you can draw some comfort, when, thinking of the lovely chocolate days, you had together.

Thinking of you, duting this sad time,

Di.xx

Flowerpot said...

Di - thanks for your story about your uncle - some people really don't understand irony do they?!

淑娟 said...
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Lane said...

That's very sad. You've often written of your friend (if it's the same one) with such affection. And to be so ignored.
As Chris has said, you're the ones with the true memories. Shame on the other.

Flowerpot said...

Lane - good to see you again! Yes it's the same friend and I'm glad you recognised him. Hope you're OK?