Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I've been helping my neighbour plan her husband's funeral and it's turning out to be a surprisingly joyous task, despite the sadness. Her husband died after eighteen years of increasing disability following a fall from the roof of their house. Before that he was a hugely energetic, adventurous man, handsome and fit and with a zest for life. That zest remained until his care requirements became too much for his wife to manage at home. Although he was then unable to speak, he made it clear that his wife was everything to him and without her, he didn't want to go on. It took three years before he got his wish and that was down to his own determination not to go on living.

The funeral is truly a celebration of a life characterised by courage, good humour and fortitude. But you cannot attribute these qualities to one without the other, because both partners have lived this life together. Two lives well lived and inexorably intertwined.

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