I attended a funeral today. It was of a colleague of mine in the mental health field who sadly passed away at the end of January.
As we all know, death is unfortunately a certainty in life. But when someone departs the stage suddenly and prematurely, it sends shock waves around colleagues, family and friends.
It was a lovely springlike day for the funeral. There were moments of humour in amongst the sadness, and the final song before everyone left the chapel certainly broke up several of the congregation, including me. Tears were ready to flow, and they did.
As a small tribute to my departed colleague, she was a fighter, a warrior who fought not only for herself but for others too. She did an awful lot of work in promoting mental health, and we did some presentations together, working well as a double act.
She was humorous, opinionated, outspoken but with that altruistic touch that endeared her to many. My former line manager who was close friends with her, gave a reading that spoke volumes for our colleague. It was emotional, heartfelt and done with a style that our colleague would have approved of. Believe me, standing there and delivering a reading of someone departed takes a lot of doing and immense courage and fortitude. Her friend would have been proud of her, and the turnout was testament to our departed colleague’s work and popularity.
Death comes to us all. That certainty we all face at some point. It’s been a privilege to be a small part of my departed colleague’s life. I’m sure in heaven now, she is being typically feisty and outspoken, but looking after those that most need it. I can’t think of a more fitting epitaph than that.