The Funeral





I’ve never gone to the funeral of a bad person,
It seems that everyone, no matter how awful,
Is transformed by death.
Or is it we who are changed?
The people left behind,
Who realise in the finality of another’s death
That they weren’t so very bad after all.

Seeing the good in another when they have gone,
Noticing the kindness, the lovely uniqueness
Of a life gone forever, deciding to overlook
The faults in favour of all that made us smile and laugh,
Being forgiving and generous with our affection,
To a person that is no longer here…

Funerals are silly affairs in many ways,
Favourite songs played and flowers displayed
To comfort the living, to reassure us that we loved,
We cared, we noticed and remembered, what?
A few paltry details to sum up a life lived.

Give me your flowers, forgiveness,
love and attention now,
Give me your laughter, kindness
And companionship today.
Give me you, honestly and with conviction,
Or walk away if you wish,
Either way I’ll pass on the black ostrich feathers,
The garlands of lilies and the eulogy of my life.

Bury me without tears, ceremony or favour.
Lay me down and let me be.
I wasn’t so very different from anyone you know,
I was good, I was bad, I was foolish,
I was me, just as you will be you.
Don’t try to make my life stand for something.
I am not a metaphor to bolster you,
I lived and then I died,
What happened in between only has meaning for me.

Have your funeral if you will, but know
It is a funeral for you, not for me.

© Sue Claughton, 2016

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