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Wednesday, 9 December 2009
It is my mother's funeral today, and I am taking it. The complete script can be read here. The prayer, sermon and committal were written by me and are consistent with my mother's and my beliefs (the musical content was chosen by my sister). The gown and stole I wear was made by my mother.
It is hard to reflect on a funeral service, attended by relatively few and almost all of that location. I was taken by my very generous friends. We were in Clowne well before time, and this included going to the chapel of rest. I have to say, I think it was hideous as I looked carefully. My mother when alive her last moments, and indeed when she died, was, however thin and of loss, who she was. The preservation had the effect to me of undermining the work of the fire later, as if it had already been done. In one sense it made doing the service easier. I thought the crematorium chapel was an uninspiring place, and had a certain poverty about it. We didn't sing: the people doing the CDs interpreted 'All Things Bright and Beautiful' as a CD track from Brassed Off. I did wonder if that would happen. A good photograph had been printed out before arrival at my sister's, and I suggested we had that at the front, and so we did, but the coffin, now closed, was placed to the side, so it was not visible and the curtain closing had no ritual impact. However, coming to saying the committal was anticipated as difficult, and I sort of rose above it to do it and say the words (which had been difficult in preparation and rehearsal). When it was done, that was it, and I didn't 'greet' afterwards because, in the reality, I was not a minister but just facilitated. A side element was it being pleasing to meet my nephew after a very long time, who struck me as very kind. After the service we joined the party and their food for a short while before we three headed back to New Holland for myself and then Hull.