Touching on our mortality

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, November 4, 2005

My friend's father was buried today. He was a good man, always a pleasure to meet and ready to share his natural warmth and cheerful demeanour with his son's friends. I'm proud and pleased to have known him. On the day, I wanted to find a way to be there and I did, but I remember the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what to say, so maybe this is my belated way of saying it. All I could do was to be there but I know and knew that it was important and appreciated, as we all did.

Roger would certainly have appreciated the night we enjoyed and laughed at how we fell and where we slept! It was a new and strange feeling, because we were amongst friends we trust and whose company we always enjoy, and yet there was a bitter glee of schaudenfreude in the embarrassment of people asking in the bars if we were dressed as the Blues Brothers on a night out. It was funny, but underneath it, we all knew it wasn't, and yet it's an evening that will live long in the memory and be treasured and fondly recalled in future - and it would have made Roger laugh!

For the whole group of some of my closest friends from university days, this opens a new chapter in our lives. It is inevitable, although too sad to dwell on, that most of us will lose our parents in the years ahead. It is part of growing up and living and not something to be afraid of. Nonetheless, as obvious as it may seem, I don't think it hit me until now. Now I understand the meaning of phrases about living your life to the full in a different way, because not so far away this could be me dying and I'd hate to leave this planet without giving as many things as possible a shot.

And if all this sounds sad or morbid, or glum or depressing, it's not, because for all the shock, emotion, and emotional confusion of the day, we can reflect and make our own lives more fulfilling, and by definition the lives of those we come into contact with and care deeply about. Beneath it all, there's a reason I came here this weekend which is based in a mutually shared, special friendship that will endure wherever we all are.
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