Village Life, Death & Respect

The village church bell was ringing when I woke at 7.15am yesterday (Saturday) so either a death Friday night or a funeral today. Then I got to the village centre at around 11am and found out the bell was for a funeral of a 76 year old lady who died two days ago… daughter found her dead first thing Thursday morning.

The mayor treated me to coffee and tried to tell me who the lady was, i would probably have recognised her face but the name meant nothing.

While we drank our coffee the funeral procession appeared in the centre, driving up from the family homevand I had already started blubbing by the time it stopped in the centre. Like almost everyone else sitting in the centre I stood and bowed my head in respect.

The funeral procession moved on down to the church for the service with about 30 in attendance then on to interment in the christian graveyard in the village.

I had a bright memory flash then and there on the side of the road of my father – who always wore a hat – whenever a hearse passed on the road or street my dad would always move to the curb, doff his hat and bow his head in respect and reverence. Such a heartfelt act. My Dad taught me so much about being a gentle man, husband and father – and as I walk this long journey I miss him (and my Mum too of course) very much.

My Mum and Dad when they were dating after WW2

But in my life these days, these little, personal, community, caring and respecting traditional and cultural moments strengthen my love for the community we have been accepted into… words cannot quite explain how much it means and how much it strengthens my heart and my mind in this phase of my life.

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