Yesterday evening around this time I was preparing myself for another Monday, brooding during that terribly long 5 o’clock tea time of the soul that is Sunday afternoons. It is pretty much the only time of the week when I get grumpy and suffer what could be called generously ‘the blues’, as one reminisces over the short weekend and dreads the horror of what is commonly called Monday morning (btw, I find that the best way to avoid is just going to work on a sunday afternoon). Then a short text message changed all this and instead preparing myself for work I prepared for a funeral, desperately trying to get a flight and a hotel, all literally last minute. So instead of sitting on a train, this morning I nurtured the Lada over a far too hot and busy M25 to catch a flight to the Aegean.
Family is a funny old thing. You can’t choose who you’re related to (well, apart from your in-laws, and there I’ve been rather lucky) but fortunately the bunch I was thrown into the genepool with is a pretty decent, though rather small bunch. There is a few aunts and uncles and even less cousins, but luckily it’s definitely quality over quantity. Now one of them has left us forever, so here I am, in a plane on the way to northern Greece, in a rather rickety A320 in Aegean Airlines livery, trying to join the rest of gene pool to celebrate and mourn a life. I normally avoid funerals like the plague, but as the deceased and his nearest and dearest played such a crucial part in my and my family’s life that not coming would have felt sacrilegeous.
Sitting alone on a plane is a good time as any to meditate about what one of my colleagues called ‘a sexually transmitted condition with fatal outcome’ and morbid thoughts are hardly surprising when one is on the way to a funeral. What kind of legacy does one to leave for the rest of humanity? What is a good life? What makes it all worth it?
I thought long and hard about this (well, a few seconds, but with my attention span…), and I think it’s probably a good thing when one can say ‘I tried to live my life as comfy as I could and in the process made as many people happy as possible while trying not to piss too many people off’.
I am pretty sure that would be a fitting eulogy for tomorrow’s funeral as well.
With mixed thoughts from 50 miles before Thessaloniki,