On Friday I went to a funeral, the third funeral in the past year of people I cared about who were all around my age, I’m 47!
The first was someone who I considered to be family even though he wasn’t, he was my aunts best friends son and me and my cousins saw him as a cousin. He was so funny and a real charmer with the women, he drove an old Triumph spitfire with an inflatable skeleton in the passenger seat and that’s the kind of stupid thing would do. He moved abroad when he was about nineteen or twenty and that was the last I saw of him, he somehow started taking drugs and they had a firm grasp on him and some years ago I heard that he had moved back to the UK and I asked about him on several occasions but never saw him. I know some people just saw him as a drug addict but he was a good man, I often think about him and hate the fact I didn’t try to get in touch, he made a bad decision and paid the price but that wasn’t the real him!
The next funeral was of another addict, but this one was addicted to food. He was my best friend when we were kids and we worked together for a while and we had just got back in touch and met up, he was a silly sod and we had some good laughs. Its also unfortunately true that when we went to secondary school he decided for some reason that he would bully me and for a couple of years he made my life hell but we got over that and became firm friends again and I was God father to his first child. This is a man that will never be forgotten by everyone that met him, a giant with a giant personality and the silly sod put off going to hospital when had pain in his leg despite the fact that he had previously had blood clots that needed medical intervention. He died in the arms of his girlfriend in the hospital waiting room and the doctors couldn’t save him.
His funeral was a happy remembrance of his life, we celebrated who he was and not his death.
Last Friday I attended the funeral of my cousins cousin, again he was like a cousin and we had some laughs together. He was a man who always seemed to be smiling and he had the most care free attitude, life was for living and not for worrying and he never had a bad word about anyone. We were at a party and suddenly I was grabbed by the shoulder and swung round and punched in the face, my nose erupted with blood and went down. He saw this happen and chased the guy and when he caught him, he punched him but instantly started apologising for doing it and asking the guy if he was okay and if he wanted a drink, that’s the sort of person he was.
He had a heart attack at home when he was alone, I can’t even begin to imagine how his mum feels or any parent who loses a child feels. Life can be so very unfair and I hope that it’s a very very long time until I have to attend a funeral.
Life is precious, in a split second life can end often we have had a hand in our own demise. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, fast food, all these things shorten our lives and yet we are all guilty for at least one of these pleasures. I’m overweight, its partly because of my health but mostly because I eat because I’m bored or when my pain levels are high, I crave the wrong types of food, chocolate, popcorn, etc but this past year has shown me that I need to make a change and I have already lost a couple of stone and I could do with losing about another three stone (42 pounds). I can’t do much but I have started to use the Wii console to exercise, its light and I can do it sat in the wheelchair.
At the last funeral I watched a fourteen year old girl get up to speak, she looked at the coffin and said “that’s my dad” and that hit me hard, I have no right to be over weight and risk a heart attack or diabetes, I’m a dad and its my responsibility to make sure I keep on being a dad for as long as I can!