Three Funerals and an Afternoon Tea

That’s probably not going to make a great title for a film. There wouldn’t be too many laughs in it either.

This week past I attended the funeral Mass of a young man. Fifty-five is young when you’re fifty-two.

In the last year, this is the third death of someone young that I’ve known.

I wasn’t close to any of them but they had each come into my life at different points. They were each local, they were each about the same age. They each died alone. Completely alone.

They had loving family. Families who cared about them and wanted to help them. They were each beyond reach of help.

Two died alone at home. One ensured he would be found. They died, directly or indirectly, by their own hand. Their choices and circumstances led them to an early death.

Their families grieve the loss of one they could not help, despite love reaching out to do so.

Such a waste.

One I will remember by a piece of his art that hangs on my living-room wall.

Another, I will remember each day I pass her house.

The last I will remember from a dance as a teen.

I knew them all in better days, in a carefree past.

Whatever troubles life brought to them, they were too much.

And the afternoon tea?

Well, today, my husband and I went for a champagne afternoon tea that had been purchased last year for our silver wedding anniversary as one of the gifts from our seven gorgeous kids. The other gifts were enjoyed almost immediately. This voucher has lain for nearly a year, almost on the point of expiry. Finding the time to use it always just out of reach.

We made time today to use it. For a few hours we had time for just the two of us. We reminisced, we laughed. We talked about our children – that’s inevitable. We made a few plans. Some may happen. Some may not.

Our weeks unfold, one upon the other. There are glad days and gladder days. There are sad days and sadder ones still.

We live, we work, we love. We reach out to each other, as a couple, as a family.

Sometimes, that is enough.

And, sometimes, it is not.