Posted by Lyra Mollington
On the day of cousin Trevor’s funeral, I woke up in a cold sweat. I’d had the most awful nightmare. I dreamt that all the mourners had been instructed to wear novelty slippers – the bigger and furrier the better. If that wasn’t bad enough, there were shaven-headed monks in saffron robes at the doors of the crematorium inspecting us. I was beginning to panic – were my gorilla slippers furry enough?
As my sister Myra and I drove along the M4, I thought it best not to mention my dream. As planned, we arrived in plenty of time for a cup of coffee and a Bath bun at the garden centre next door. Never attend a funeral on an empty stomach – grumbling tummies are not what the grieving widow wishes to hear.
Nor does she wish to hear the raucous ring-tone of a mobile phone. Barbara, the lady leading the ceremony, had barely welcomed us when, ‘Who let the dogs out?’ assaulted our ears.
The last time Myra and I had seen Trevor was at his father’s funeral twelve years ago, so the eulogy was a useful way of catching up on his latest news. We had to read between the lines of course. The word ‘alcoholic’ was never mentioned. Instead, we were told that he enjoyed socialising with his friends at his local, The Full Moon.
As the ceremony continued, I realised that in my preparations for the funeral, I hadn’t even considered that this might be a sad occasion. After all, Trevor was a Jack-the-lad and a happy-go-lucky sort .
Then we were told how his wife Marjorie had barely started researching Buddhist funerals on the internet when she discovered a note. Barbara read it out:
No fuss. Keep it simple and don’t spend too much. Treat yourself to a holiday. As the curtains close, The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel. Be happy my darling.
All my love,
P.S. “When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. When you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.” (Ancient Buddhist saying)
Trevor – wherever you are, I hope you are rejoicing.