Tag Archives: funeral

After the funeral, the fun.

What to say? The funeral went well, with nearly 100 people there, but I think we are all still recovering (especially The Grouch who had to plan the whole thing). Since then we have had our last church lunch at the London Mennonite Centre before it closes, which was painful; I have preached again on Bible characters facing change (Lot and Hagar this time); I have had several downs but always managed to get up again (cue Chumbawamba…); we have failed to procure home tuition for Genius Brat but we have got local authority transport to get him to school, which is a great relief as otherwise it would be two buses and two walks. And we have managed to get him at least twice a week to his voluntary work by dint of paying him for it (he is saving up for a new computer since his last one exploded, projecting ball bearings everywhere).

My sleep has been all over the place but this is largely due to my being a dirty stopout – I had three interesting musical experiences in as many weeks:

First was an Elvis impersonator who was quite good but very loud – we left at the interval. I’m not into Elvis anyway but it was a fundraiser for the local autism group and I thought I’d see people I knew there, which I didn’t (the audience seemed to be entirely made up of the Elvis impersonator’s fans, all women of a certain age…)

Second up was an evening listening to Botown, a group who do ‘Bollywood soul’ and who are mates of my Pakistani friend’s husband. Bollywood soul seems to consist of a soul-style backing with lots of brass, and Bollywood style Indian singing on top. Actually it was a surprisingly fun evening, though I was in a very small white minority in the audience! And it was too loud as well, though not as loud as Elvis.

Third (and best) was the opening night of the Meltdown Festival at the South Bank, this year curated by Ray Davies (he of the Kinks and the lovely legs). So of course it had to open with Ray and his current band doing all the old Kinks singles (and fining himself 5p for charity every time he said ‘Kinks’). Also too loud, but fabulous fun especially as he encouraged us all to sing along (which also happened at the Botown gig but I couldn’t oblige as all the songs were in some Indian language). Of course I knew all the words…

Why do all these events have to be so loud? They are all attended by a distinctly middle aged audience, and I doubt if any of them want it so loud. The music is so much better when you don’t have to stick your fingers in your ears… My friend had £150 ear defenders – I think if I continue to relive my youth at this rate, I will need some too.

Goodbye Lesley

So… I did have to preach a different sermon from the one I had originally planned. Lesley died in the early morning of Tuesday 17th and so when I started to write the sermon she was already gone. I chose to preach on Jephthah’s daughter (Judges 11), one of the grimmest passages in the Bible. It came into my mind because it is about premature death, and also about a death that is anticipated so that the person has time to prepare. I think the sermon went well – at least I didn’t break down in the middle of it. I have known Lesley for almost 20 years and she has been one of the most significant people in the church for me, and for many others. Now her son Adam is left without any immediate family, as his father and sister both died within the last 10 years. He is only 26 – not an age at which you expect to be orphaned.

Since then, The Grouch has been extremely busy helping Adam plan the funeral, which will happen this Friday. It has been very stressful for him, and I have tried to support him as best I can. Meanwhile I have been called on to write a tribute which I will deliver at the funeral, to proofread the order of service, to find a photo for the cover, to give my opinion on our paid elder’s planned sermon, and in the midst of this to start writing Bible notes on Mark 1-4. Oh, and I have also been to a parents’ special needs day (very useful), a mini Shipmeet (delightful) , and an arts evening (see below) where I was selling the speaker’s books. I have also volunteered three times at my new voluntary job (one afternoon a week) doing admin at a local carers’ centre. Not much to do then… I’ve hardly had time to grieve, but I think the funeral will give me that.

The arts evening turned out to be a reunion with many people from my past, including a man ten years younger than me, on whom I had a crush approximately thirty years ago. He is still gorgeous, but also still queer as a nine bob note, so no more hope there than there ever was. Silly me.