Had a call from my dear friend Ivan. He had very kindly sent a lovely card, with his condolences, to my mother on the passing of Grandmother (dearly departed), and I thanked him most profusely. He asked about Grandmother's funeral, which had taken place last week.
I told Ivan that a long lost second cousin only recognised me because, as he put it, I was the only person there under sixty. Ivan remarked that it was a rather desperate situation that we would soon be reduced to hanging around in funeral parlours in order to look younger.
At the funeral parlour, I met my grandmother's sisters for the first time. The sisters had not been on speaking terms due to an undisclosed incident 34 years ago. How they had managed to ignore each other on the bus to town every week is beyond me. When my grandmother (DearlyDeparted) had fallen ill, they decided to heal the rift and so it was quite something to see them all in a room together for the first time in decades.
The Great Aunts made such a picture, five of them sitting in a row. There was an awkward silence to begin with. I suppose all those years of being incommunicado does leave a lack of familiarity to draw upon. Still, my mother's cousin Susan thought it timely to launch into a monologue about her long standing bowel problems, which caused some amusement amongst those present. Not a detail was spared us, and we so recently aquainted. Mercifully, the Great Aunts were all hard of hearing, so I think it passed them by. I, on the other hand, was not so fortunate and am trying suppress the memory.
The funeral went fairly well. I think Grandmother would have been pleased. It was a good turnout of Aunts and Cousins, although my mother's friend did catch Cousin Malcolm prodding each Great Aunt in turn, declaring he was checking to see if rigamortis had set in. Other than that, we all departed on good terms, fortified with sweet sherry and saying how we should all have a proper family get together, instead of meeting under these sad circumstances. I suppose that means I will see them all at the next funeral.