Last week I went to a funeral. I was early. Sitting in the pew beside me were two little old ladies (goodness, I suppose I'm a little old lady, too - when did that happen? - and probably not so much of the 'little' either). One lady leaned over to me, gesturing to the huge blow-up photo of the deceased on the screen above our heads.
"I think we're at the wrong funeral," she whispered.
The deceased woman had a very unusual last name. I couldn't imagine there being two of them, so I murmured placating noises.
"Where did this woman live?" asked the lady.
"Miramar," I said.
Our woman was from Plimmerton."
"The deceased's daughter lives in Plimmerton," I said. We old folk get places muddled up all the time, so I thought nothing of it. "I'm sure you're at the right funeral."
But the lady went to check. She hurried back, leaning across me to grab the coat sleeve of her friend. "It's the wrong woman," she said. Apparently her person-in-question was alive at home in Plimmerton.
"Well, I'm staying," hissed her friend, tugging away from the claw-like grip. She set her lips firmly, folded her arms, and stared straight ahead. The original friend left the funeral home but not before crossing her name out of the "In Memorium" book she'd written in on arrival. How crass. Now my friend's relatives will forever wonder about that cross-out.
The second lady, the one sitting beside me who didn't have a clue abouit the deceased, sang heartily during the psalm, wiped away a tear during the daughter's reminiscing, and daintily partook of a cup of tea and a muffin or two after the service. It all made me think of dear Blanche from tv's "Coronation Street" who's hobby was funeral-attending, anybody's funeral.
PS: 1st swim for October. Quite cold. Four more to go.