Yesterday I went to a Natalie’s Uncle’s funeral in the country. He was a parish priest there for some time and the church was packed with people wanting to celebrate his life and contribution to their lives. The church was so full people were seated outside underneath the palm trees listening to the service via speakers. Princess Diana it wasn’t, but this was clearly the funeral of a loved and respected man.
There is nothing like facing up to the inevitability of death to motivate and throw into question. As I ate a sandwich at the wake and looked around the church hall I noticed that most of the people were at the end of their lives. If they hadn’t done it already they were never gonna do it. Health or money concerns would stop them. It struck me that the excuses we make about not embracing life and taking risks would seem feeble to the pensioners struggling with walking frames and oxygen tanks. They would give anything to have the opportunity to take a risk and fuck up.
The other thing that struck me was that Natalie’s uncle died poor, well he was a priest, so all the people celebrating his life were there for his deeds not his bank balance or toys.
Throw an entire life into context and it is clear that life is about living for the now and being a good person, not worry, anxiety and excuses.
So what is more important to you, respect or wealth?
Vale Uncle Frank