Yesterday was a strange day topped off by a sunset swim. The water was calm but chilly, it was possible to bask in the setting sun when swimming towards the west.
Nothing was quite as it should be yesterday. @theoldmortuary is close to three graveyards, an older church one that has expanded into fields behind it and more recently, on the opposite side of the lane leading to a nature reserve,a new graveyard in more fields for more recent burials. We are well used to funerals of all sorts and their associated traffic. A neighbour but unknown to us, died recently and was being taken elsewhere for her service and committal yesterday morning. Being at the beginning of a final journey rather than the end felt dystopian with the undertaker performing a slow walk ahead of the hearse as they drove away from the family home.
After a year of behavioural changes it is a little unnerving to always witness the sadness of strangers without the balance of being voyeurs to the joyful church events of Baptism and Weddings. Brightly coloured family dramas played out just steps away from our front door.
These things are the rituals that link us to the past. This is probably the only year in more than 400 where the church and the pub, sentinels either side of a lane have not shared in the celebrations and condolences of church based family events.
The two buildings are linked in these moments. People crossing, sometimes wobbly legged and weepy, between the two in the time before and after the main events. Weeping is not reserved for funerals!
Just having the church and bereavement gatherings seems unbalanced. Life will be better when happy and sad people can seek refuge in the pub, before or after church and turn their legs wobbly if that is what the situation requires.