|"The Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh (1889)
It was a pub friend's funeral today. Mick was only sixty seven and the last time I saw him he was as right as rain. But there was something happening secretly, quietly in his lungs and when this thing announced itself he was whisked into hospital and then soon after that his vital organs began to surrender. He hung on for a few days but then he died. The doctors could only help with his pain.
He was married for forty five years and leaves a distraught wife, two grown up daughters and four grandchildren. He was a bus driver and for his sins a Sheffield United supporter.
Funerals can be awkward affairs for resolute atheists like me. We are invited to go along with religious verbal rituals such as "The Lord's Prayer" and Psalm 23 and by the way I know for an ironic fact that Mick himself was an atheist too. But I rather liked this nice piece below. We were invited to read it along with the Reverend Jane Sharpe who conducted the service:-
Into the freedom of wind and sunshine
We let you go
Into the dance of the stars and the planets
We let you go
Into the wind's breath and the hands of the starmaker
We let you go.
We love you,we miss you, we want you to be happy.
Go safely, go dancing, go running home.
I wonder who the "starmaker" is. Perhaps Simon Cowell or Walt Disney though I must admit I thought the stars were a by-product of some mammoth, almost unimaginable conflagration when the universe was swirling in a soup of time and energy and had no form. Farewell Mick.