Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A Family Failure - Part 2: On Wills and Jumble Sales

Now no-one expected me to die, it just happened when nobody was looking, which meant there was a bit of a rush to get a funeral sorted and all the other things you have to do when someone dies.
           I died on a Monday; a sad case in itself for Monday is such a dull day already. The weekend snow was turning damp and slushy, everyone was trying to get back into a work routine after the Christmas break, feeling thoroughly miserable, and I went a died.
          My family spent the next day and a half crying a lot before realising I wasn’t going to bury myself and that I was starting to smell. This all led to them rushing to get my funeral prepared. They booked a church for Friday, but found that no-one could come because they all had parties to go to already. So then they moved it to the following Monday. Great, so I not only die on a Monday, but I get buried on one too!
          Just because my family will be late to my funeral doesn’t mean you can get away with it. I expect you to be there on the dot. I will try to give you a little time to get seated before I begin the ceremony by making my grand entrance.
          Actually these days it’s a little more humiliating. There once was a time when six pallbearers would carry you shoulder high down the aisle in a slow, mournful yet dignified fashion, while the organ played and everyone respectfully stood to watch you pass. Now they dump the coffin on a trolley and roll it up to the front to the tune of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’, while everyone sits back and pretends to cry into their tissues (in fact their just hiding their noses from the smell). Most of them are only there to hear if they’ve been left anything in the will. Well I can tell you now that they will all be disappointed at my funeral. I died so quickly and unexpectedly I didn’t have time to write one. (Unless you count the thing I wrote aged 6, leaving my jar of two pence pieces to Dad and my book on Monster Machines to Mum).
           I often wonder why they call it a ‘Will’. Was it because someone called Will wrote the first one? Or is it to say that you are willing to let other people have you stuff? It would be interesting for someone to write a ‘won’t’ of all the things they don’t wish to have handed on to another person, who would probably only sell it at a jumble sale anyway.
          Talking of jumble sales, I went to one once. Just bear with me here. They are crazy places, where you can go and take all the stuff you don’t want or need, and really free up your house (everyone has too much stuff). But then you make the crucial error of wandering around to look at all the other things on sale. Most of it’s chipped or worthless, but your eyes spot the cheap price tag and you start emptying your wallet. Then you get home and you realise, that you spent more money than you made and you have more junk than you left with.
          Anyway, as I was saying, I went to one once, just to have a look around, and I came across this chap selling weird bracelets. They had a selection of pretty stones on them and the man said that I should wear them when I died and they’d help in one way or another when I passed on to the next life. That all sounded ridiculous at the time, but they looked so nice that I bought one and wore it for a long time after. I even started thinking it would help me when I died. Of course what I forgot was that when you die you can’t really decide what goes with you into the coffin. Mum just chose a nice outfit for me and my stone bracelet was left behind in a draw. Although as it happens they wouldn’t have been any use anyway as I am almost stark naked, so it looks like I left everything bar my body, and one useful item of clothing, in the coffin.
            But I am getting ahead of my self, I am neither dead nor buried as far as you are concerned for I am yet to describe the events to you. But please be patient, I will come to them soon. Besides it will be a while yet before my family reach the funeral so let me go on.

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