8 November 2016

Anywhere

It was nice to say farewell to Bret yesterday morning. His mother and father were there and various family members plus old friends and new - people who had got to know him in the last two years when he ended up begging outside the "Spar" shop on Ecclesall Road.

The funeral was held at City Road Crematorium - a non-religious service presided over by a humanist preacher. As we followed the coffin into the chapel of rest, that song by Eric Clapton was played over the sound system. You probably know the one I mean - "Tears in Heaven" about his four year old son Conor who, like Bret, plunged to his death from a high balcony.

The exact circumstances of Bret's death remain unclear. It may have been an accident, or suicide or murder. Perhaps we will never know.
Flowers for Bret outside the "Spar" shop
There were allusions to Bret's intelligence, his mathematical ability and how at the ages of eleven and thirteen he might have taken up a scholarship at Mount St Mary's College - but this would have involved boarding during the week and Bret didn't like that idea. There were of course no tales about how, as a young adult,  he got lost in drugs and ended up homeless on Sheffield's not-so-mean streets. A lot of passers-by spoke with him and supported him in small ways.

The service concluded with another modern song - "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman. I recall when I acquired her first album, I would play her songs over and over. She was a great discovery. It's nice to know that Bret liked her too:-
You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me, myself I got nothing to prove.

Now Bret has got his "ticket to anywhere"...
In City Road Cemetery yesterday lunchtime

20 comments:

  1. Great that you showed your care for Bret by attending a memorial with his parents and friends. Sometimes there's not enough that can be done to help someone.

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    1. Drug addiction can be a spiral that's impossible to hold up.

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  2. I hope his family and friends feel somewhat comforted by knowing enough people cared about Bret to make his funeral a rather large one.

    Tracy Chapman's first album was one I bought on tape - I was 20 and the year was 1988, if I remember correctly - and my then boyfriend and I listened to it over and over again in the car on a memorable trip to St. Tropez.

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    1. It was a great album wasn't it Meike? True feelings, plaintive song writing.

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  3. Such a sad occasion, but he wasn't completely alone, as so many homeless are. A comfort to his family that there were others to mourn him too.

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    1. Yes. I know that his mother Dee and his distraught father found some solace in that.

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  4. You are a really good soul and have a compassionate heart, Mr. Pudding! Poor Brett, may he find his desired place.

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    1. As an atheist, I am sure that he has now entered a land called Nothingness. I guess it's peaceful there because all consciousness has departed for ever.

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  5. It makes me ponder on the meaning of life and why and how we end up.

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    1. We reach junctions. We choose paths. We could all have ended up like Bret. Just a motion away.

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  6. Lovely moody cemetery shot!

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    1. Thanks Kylie. The light was just right at that moment.

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  7. So sad and so kind of you to attend the funeral. Addiction is a horrible thing - I've witnessed it at first hand in my husband's alcoholism. It's a slippery downhill slope that few climb back up from.

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    1. Good lord! Living with an alcoholic must be challenging in so many ways - watching a man you loved on a downward spiral of his own making. Please accept my sympathy ADDY. It cannot have been easy.

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  8. Wistful post and a nice gathering to send him off. That is a poignant song.

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    1. "Wistful" - that's a good word Terra. We don't come across if often enough.

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  9. Life's highway is never easy...and for some it's impossible to tread.

    Life can be full of sorrow and hardship...but there were, obviously, people who loved Brett. What a shame he wasn't able to accept and deal with that...and with what life had to offer...the good, the bad, the happy and the sad.

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  10. An act of kindness, attending Brett's funeral and something that will certainly be valued by his parents.

    Alphie

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.