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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  1. Babe, firstly what a horrible thing to think (and slightly morbid now I come to think of it) Despite the depressing last sentence, the rest of the post - although talking about death- is really thought provoking and I think relates to most people! I never used to cry at anything, not sure what changed but now I always sob - although I normally manage to hold myself together at funerals (even though thankfully I don't go to many) And there's definitely no shame in having your partner as your best friend!

    I think there's a balance. Some people like the company of one person, and some people don't feel comfortable without hundreds of friends. Don't ever feel obliged to categorise yourself! Everyone's different :)

    Katie <3

  2. I would come to your funeral you daft brush. This was an interesting read, it's good that you are thinking about yourself and your mind and how your personality works, however there is no right or wrong when it comes to these things. You just need to make decisions on how to act as and when they need to be made, in fact they may not need to be made at all, hopefully one day you will be comfortable enough with who you are to just take each minute as it comes, as there is certainly nothing to worry about personality wise. I think you are ace. I've just read this back and am not sure it makes much sense, but I hope you get the gist of what I am getting at!

  3. There was an enormous turnout for my Grandmother's funeral last year. She was such a sociable lady, she loved to chat to anyone about anything and everything. In almost all ways I'm the total opposite to her. If I discount family I wouldn't really say I have any close friends that I see 'in real life' and sometimes that makes me feel a little sad, but mostly I'm okay with it. I'm not lonely and being an only child I actually really enjoy doing a lot of things by myself. I know that I totally need to push myself to maybe go to a blogger meet up or something one day because it'll be good for me, and I will when it's something I really want to do.

    I think as long as you're happy, that's all that really matters. And it's definitely a good thing to think about these things. I think we're always learning new things about ourselves <3

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

  4. It's an interesting thing to think about. I think I've been in a similar position in the past. I have friends who I'd consider really really close but none of them live very near to me, which makes me really sad. It's a tough one.

  5. You are who you are Sophie, and you're pretty awesome in my opinion. As long as you are happy, then it doesn't matter if you have five friends or five hundred. I'm not overly social but I will always remember my Dad telling me that for years he felt guilty for not being more sociable, but he made his peace with it, choosing to be who he is and not apologising for it. I try to do the same, I like my own company and need alone time every single day. I have a small group of close friends and a larger group that I see occasionally but the very best of them are the ones that I pick up with where we left off, no matter how much times goes by in between.
    Looking forward to seeing you at the end of Feb x

  6. Sophie. I feel your pain and curiosity. Me and you have far more in common than we could ever realise. Before I met you I knew you were ‘my kinda’ person, and Norbury confirmed all of that in one instance. Those late night chats remain a good and treasured keepsake, because for a moment I felt fifteen again.
    As you know – a lot of my troubles stem from my shyness and lack of confidence. I find it difficult to even make conversation with the postman, let alone an actual ‘friend’. Simon is wholeheartedly my best friend in every sense of the word. I know what it feels like to spend a lot of time alone, and like you I don’t find it displeasing, in fact as I’ve got older I treasure shopping, working and even driving alone. My running has been a complete individual journey and I do spend the majority of my ‘so called life’ alone. But I choose this, and from time to time, if I pass a group of girlfriends or hear of a girl’s night out, I do for a second have a craving for friendship, but having had so many fallouts as a teenager I remember girls can be pretty mean.
    I wish I got to see you more often and I so wish distance wasn’t between us, because I reckon we would have a pretty good friendship…y’know.
    Just remember friendship (like a lot of things) can surprise you. One of the ladies I clean for, who is several decades older than me has in fact become a great friend, I consider her to be someone I can talk to, and spill all my troubles to and this all happened out of pure chance, if I had not been hired as her cleaner, then I would have never met her.
    ‘Come to think of it I pretty much always cry at weddings too.’ – love this sentiment ;)
    Love you darling Sophie. Always. xxx


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