I take a moment to reflect

Sunday, February 02, 2014

crows in tree

This week I went to a family funeral of someone who was in their early fifties. That sounds dreadfully vague but I don't really like to talk about people directly on here as I kind of feel like it's not fair to spread stories about people behind their backs. Over the years I've been to a handful of funerals and cremations and there is one thing they all hold in common;  I cry. I well up and feel dreadfully emotional but in a rather sad way it's the atmosphere, music, sombre readings and generally being part of a church service that brings on the tears. Hideous as it sounds, I think going to the funeral of anyone would produce the same result, even if I'd never met them. Come to think of it I pretty much always cry at weddings too. That environment just stirs up so much emotion it chokes me right up, which is absurd because usually I'm pretty matter of fact about life and death.

I was blown away by the phenomenal strength of character displayed by the family of the deceased, they were so strong, so mature and so outgoing in engaging with the vast (I mean vast) congregation who attended the service and gave such a thoughtful and celebratory send off to such a popular and well loved person who had been taken before their time. Even daring to imagine myself in any of their shoes made me shudder and I have no idea how they all handled the occasion so well.

It hit a nerve with me how utterly different I am from the person in the coffin, they were involved with so many groups, clubs, sports with endless work colleagues and friends, always keen to try new things and mix with more people. I, on the other hand, don't tick any of those boxes. The number of friends I have varies between one (Husband) and half a dozen (that would be you, good old online buddies) with most of my hobby activities being a solo affair and avoiding socialising with a vengeance. I wouldn't say this makes me 'happy' but it certainly is in preference over anything else. My personality is one I would describe as complex. Or perhaps simple. It's kind of split down the middle. I sometimes describe myself as an introvert which is probably accurate as I find being with other people exhausting. In a room full of people I would far prefer to zone out and not be directly addressed by anyone, nor expected to contribute anything to conversation. However, I can also be absolutely outgoing, lively and completely different, like when I went to the blogger meet up in Norwich (stone cold sober) for perhaps the exact same scenario for seemingly no logical reason at all. All I can say for sure it that I don't crave human contact, much as I like the idea of having close friends (that I actually see regularly) it's not happened in adult life and I'm not sure I could make it last anyway. The very thought of having to be part of a team makes me roll my eyes and pull a face as I cannot tolerate being part of an ill-organised team (most are) and would want to bark out direction to sort out leadership yet at the same time loathing, loathing having to be in charge. My fitness pursuits are all about me individually and even my group boot camp sessions are not a 'team' thing. Baffling how human beings can be so different. So the funeral made me question whether I am missing out, whether I need to re-asses my priorities, engage in anything and just generally my life. Thought of it makes me feel ill. Put it this way, I could probably only just fill a garden shed with a turnout for my funeral so should that persuade me to do anything different? I don't even know.


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