Last month, I went to the funeral of not a close friend but a good one, a true friend in need. I wasn’t that surprised to learn of his death, because although he was nearly five years my junior he’d been in and out of hospital for several years and not keen on following doctor’s orders.
The funeral was held at Chilterns Crematorium where his father’s was in 2015; I knew the old man too although I met him in the flesh only the once. The Milton Chapel is fairly large, and although it wasn’t quite standing room only, there was a big turnout, plus a Zoom session for friends who couldn’t attend, including some overseas.
This got me to thinking about my funeral, which will surely be a low key event. For one thing, although I made a will several years ago, my executor is now domiciled abroad, and although I will not need a pauper’s grave, there will be precious little left from my humble estate to disperse to my beneficiaries. Not only that, I am not expecting a great turnout or indeed any turnout, except perhaps one or two enemies who want to make sure I’m really dead.
Having said that, I have acquired a few friends and even admirers over the years, including in lands afar. Only today I spoke to a guy on the other side of the Atlantic who holds me in high esteem. There are a few people in Mexico who feel the same way. Closer to home, there are a couple of women in Leicester and one in Birmingham.
At the end of the day though, or rather at the end of a life, it is how a man has changed the world in his own small way that really counts, hopefully for the better. Although I screwed up nearly the first half of my life big time and have spent the second half paying for it, I think over all I won’t be judged so harshly by those who really matter when the time comes for me to bow out.