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Author: Subject: Ed's Funeral - a short story.
Nimuae
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[*] Post 347326 posted on 29-8-2008 at 14:49 Reply With Quote
Ed's Funeral - a short story.



[b]Ed’s Funeral.

Tom looked at the clock again, it had barely moved since his last
check. Why does time do that - slow down when you are waiting for something not exactly pleasant ? His Mother-in-law wandered aimlessly from kitchen to sitting room to hall.
“It’s going to be a long day”, he said, “why don’t you sit down, try to relax?” An unfocused, tear stained glance was her only reply.

“I ‘m going to wait outside” he said. The late autumn day was bright but cold, and the air smelled of wet earth, fallen leaves, and old sunshine. As Tom reached the garden gate he could see the hearse approaching. Slowly, steadily, almost silently. Time had certainly moved apace for old Ed, he reflected. Heart attack, death certificate, undertaker, coffin, and now the funeral cortège. They all seemed to have happened with indecent haste.
“They are here”, he called to his family, “It is time”. His wife, Anne, came out first with their two sons. His Mother-in-law followed, fresh tears shimmering on her cheeks as she looked at the simple coffin. It was adorned with a single spray of flowers, crisp white carnations and soft pink roses. Their wedding flowers.

The funeral director came over to organize the pall bearers for the short walk from the house to the church. Family tradition required sons-in-law to undertake this task so Tom waited anxiously by the car while his wife arranged the gathering mourners in order of precedence. It had to done properly. Ed was so well loved and respected, his send off had to be just right. Tom felt the front edge of the coffin on his left shoulder and was surprised at it’s lightness. His emotions scattered like the leaves in the wind. He was sad. He was regretful. He was angry. Why had this happened? Ed was only 75 and the years had been kind enough to him. Why now when he should be looking forward to retirement and relaxation? Ed did not deserve to go like this, suddenly and without warning. He had given years of his life to working the land - and now he was to become part of that land. Thought stumbled over thought on the slow walk to the church. Tom was aware that the whole village had turned out, everyone wanted to pay their last respects to Ed. Caps were doffed and heads bowed as the cortège passed.

The Vicar spoke a glowing eulogy about Ed and his contribution to the community he loved so well. Always the first to help others in need. Always the first to offer work at harvest time. Always the first to buy a round in the “Wheat Sheaf”. One of the lads from the pub read a poem about the changing of the seasons and how everything in life had an allotted time. A poem written by Ed. Tom was startled, he had never thought of his very practical, both feet firmly on the ground, Father-in-law as a poet. They had talked of many things, but never poetry. He began to wonder how much else he did not know about this remarkable man.

It was time to take Ed on his final walk. The “passing bell” still tolled mournfully. The grave was dark and damp, gaping like a angry wound against the pale green of the grass. They lowered the coffin slowly, gently to rest. One of Ed’s old Army comrades played the “Last Post” - it was a bit off key but that somehow added pathos. Tom began to weep. His wife stroked his shoulder and moved quietly away. The others followed her back to the house for the traditional funeral tea.

Tom stood by the grave. This was so unfair, Ed had had so much to live for. Why Ed when there were so many yobs, thieves, and paedophiles who would surely not be missed! He wanted to shout at the world, he wanted to shout at God, but his throat was choked with tears. He remembered the first time he and Ed had walked round this small, pretty, graveyard. It was while he was summoning the courage to ask for Ed’s permission to marry Anne. There had been many times since then - Christmas‘s, Easter Sundays, the christenings of the boys. They had talked through problems, laughed at each others jokes, shared their dreams. Quite often they walked in companionable silence just enjoying the warmth of each others company. So many happy walks - but this time was different - this time he would leave alone.

Softly it began to snow.


(C) Nimuae 2008.
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[*] Post 347332 posted on 29-8-2008 at 15:05 Reply With Quote


That's beautiful Nimuae.
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[*] Post 347341 posted on 29-8-2008 at 15:31 Reply With Quote


Thanks, nim!
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