George's funeral today was something of a low-key event, witnessed only by his immediate family and a handful of friends. It followed the usual pattern of a formal reception, a final viewing of the body (I know it's a cliché, but he did look peaceful and serene), a few short commemorative speeches and some carefully chosen pieces of music. His elder brother Peter had come to fetch us (our cousin Ingrid, my sister and myself) off the train, and although the reason for our gathering was a sad one, we soon fell into our old way of easy friendship, good-natured teasing and laughter...esp. after the service when we'd dried our tears and gone to Peter's for an impromptu lunch. We vowed we wouldn't be strangers and we'd see each other again in the new year...more as a declaration of intent than a fast agreement, but I do hope we can stick to it.
My uncle went through the ceremony in a daze...it must be so hard to have to bury a child, I can't begin to think how he must be feeling. It doesn't matter whether the child in question is 2, 12 or 42; for a parent to survive their children in our affluent Western society is just not the way things are supposed to be. And when the death is sudden and without any attributable cause like accident or illness, it must be even more bewildering and upsetting.
Later, my sister helped me pick out a party outfit for tomorrow's shindig -- it's not the evening gown hp's Activity Committee were hoping for, but something equally as festive that I feel far more comfortable in and can wear on other occasions as well.