Rather sadly, l have just been to two funerals within a week of each other at St Anne's church in Hipswell, Catterick. One was for a friends mother l knew (Nessie, Podge's mum), and the other was for an ex serviceman who l knew from drinking with in my local pub (Henry Jennings).
Nessie had cancer, and l called in at her birthday party in Richmond on 9th August, as everyone knew it would be her last, seeing as she was given about two months to live six months ago. She looked well, was in top form, but sadly died two weeks to the day afterwards. lt was all back to the sunny Unicorn beer garden afterwards, and she would have laughed at the cd getting stuck as she was carried out of church,as she was certainly a character. The picture of her drinking a pint is from the aforementioned birthday bash, making the most of what life she had left.
As for Henry, he was a man who rose through the ranks in the army (Royal Signals), but was captured during the war in Korea, and spent nearly three years in a prisoner of war camp in the 1950's, which he described as a very harrowing place (to put it mildly). Sadly for him, his wife and children suffered early deaths, and he developed Dementia in the last stage of his life, but after he died, was bought up from his care home in Eastbourne to be buried at Catterick (where his home was).
He is also commemorated in a painting smashing up his radio set before being captured, a copy of which is still displayed in Hunters wine bar, and is used as the cover of the above book.
Both services were kept short, with only the one song/hymn, which in both cases was 'All things bright and beautiful', but in Henry's case, it was back to The Wine Bar (Hunters) afterwards.
Everyone grows old and dies, but it was a great idea to have an early picture of Henry larking about on the back of his order of service, to remind people that he was once a young, good looking man with a wicked sense of humour and fun.
It's a cliche to state that funerals put things into perspective, but that's not going to prevent me from stating that it is true, so try and enjoy life. In the great randomness of the Cosmos, most things aren't worth the hassle of worrying about.
Or to quote Bobby McFerrin - Don't worry - be happy.