As you may have gathered from the latest comic, yesterday I went to pay my last respects+ to my uncle.
After many years of pain, he finally lost the battle with my aunt. He’d spent his entire married life trying to get a word in edgeways, without much success. I think after four decades of being told to shut up, he simply lost the will to argue and took the path of least resistance.
The requiem mass was a sad, sombre affair, as these things are and the church was suitably chilly. It’s been years since I was last inside a house of worship++, but I could tell it was a church, because walk-in freezers seldom have stained glass windows. Even the usual Catholic aerobics (stand up, sit down, kneel, bow your head…) did little to keep my circulation going.
The church bell rang slowly and dolorously as they wheeled the coffin out into the bright winter sunlight. It continued its mournful lament while we all shuffled out and stood blinking at one another in the parking area. I noticed a number of wizened faces peering at the proceedings through the fence of the old-age home across the road.
When I pointed out the ancient rubbernecks to my mother, we both had to make a supreme effort not to laugh, because we were both thinking exactly the same thing:
“Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls…”
+ Weird fucking expression, that. It’s not like he’s around to appreciate it or anything
++ I’m actually surprised they let me in. I believe these days many congregations employ sniffer dogs to identify atheists. Kind of like in the Terminator movies