Today was a very, very long day. I don’t know if there’s something about funerals that make a day such a long, grinding, emotionally and physically draining ordeal... or whether it was just because I skipped breakfast. Fiona’s Dad, Rob, was buried today. Well, cremated... I suppose “buried” is just the default expression you give to a funeral. It was (though I am mostly inexperienced in the ways of funeral direction) a nice affair. Linda (Fiona’s Mum), Marina and Fiona all said great things about Rob... mostly pertaining to his wicked sense of humour and his great attitude to life.
He was, for the short time I knew him, a terrible invalid — burdened with both rheumatoid arthritis and emphysema. Through this and his recent downturn in health, the only complaint I ever heard him make of his condition was that I best not shake his hand too firmly, should I break it. He was a good man, he liked fixing Datsuns and drinking red wine, and I wish I could’ve known him better, or longer, or both.
Linda and Marina spoke at great length about Rob’s loves, his life, and his character; and Fiona’s brief speech was laden with symbolism and metaphor, gilded with a flair for words I’ve come to expect from her. Fiona closed her speech with a reading of Gwen Harwood's “Reflections”, and though I get the impression that some of the crowd missed her point, it was the only point you could expect her to make at a time like this — she loves her Dad, and misses him very much.
All in all, I don’t think it matters whether or not anybody in the crowd understood what she was saying, she said it the way she knows best, and I suppose that’s why I love her.