Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I know I'm in a happy mood and all that, but I've been meaning to post this for a while, and kept forgetting. Well, now I've remembered, and though this is officially a Sad Post, I hope you see the love that's in it too. About six months ago, a good friend of mine died. I shan't go into the specifics of what happened, but when I heard it knocked me sideways. Anyway, when the whole thing was done, I posted a thread on one of the forums I write on, just to collect my thoughts really and try and make sense of what had gone on. I constantly worry that it'll get deleted off the forum, so I just want to put it here for posterity, I suppose. It's one of the most honest things I've ever written.

"So I'm 30, and never had to go to a funeral until yesterday. A good friend of mine died on Saturday, though (thanks to not checking my emails) I didn't find out until Sunday night. Cue mayhem as I tried to organise time off from work, making sure my suit was clean, and getting everything generally sorted. Wasn't even sure I'd make the funeral as the police had to release the body as it was 'suspicious circumstances', so coming up to Manchester on Monday saw me fretting on the train as to whether I'd miss my chance to say goodbye.

Thankfully(!) it all took place on Tuesday. Plenty of time for people to drop everything and make their way back. As Monday afternoon turned to evening, friends I hadn't seen for ages all arrived in ones and twos at our meeting places (Night and Day and The Temple of Convenience). Drink flowed. Music played. Songs were sung. Stories told. Tears were cried. I've never been a witness to so much love - not just for our departed Brian, but for all the people left behind.

More people arrived - tour dates cancelled with hours notice (Brian was a musician, and a bloody good one at that) as they flew in from Europe, from the USA. More songs, more stories. Eventually bed beckoned, and I realised I had nowhere to stay - I'd forgotten to organise something in the mayhem. Sofas and spare beds were offered immediately as everyone just pulled together.

Tuesday morning, all back to Night and Day. People looking incredible, the girls beautiful, the boys smart - everyone smiling, telling more tales, but knowing that soon it would be the last chance to say goodbye. A fleet of cabs to the Jewish Cemetary in Failsworth, and seeing the hundreds of people gathered showed us all how much he was loved. The ceremony was moving (obviously), but still had an element of joy about it - even a few jokes. The sun shone on a cold January morning as we laid Brian to rest next to his dad. Not many tears, just a few shakes of the head and the odd "I can't believe it".

Back again to N&D for the wake, or The Aftershow as we referred to it. Speeches, champagne and salutes. The gathering of phone numbers, promises of seeing each other soon (and even better, the knowledge that these promises would ring true). A few goodbyes, kisses and hugs from friends, and a few private tears on the train home.

Not bad for a first funeral. Good luck Brian, you silly bastard. We'll miss you."

I still think of Brian, and all my friends I left in Manchester. And if anything good came from him leaving us, it was that the promises we made to see each other more did come true. We still miss him, and we still know he was a silly bastard, but cheers mate - wherever you are.


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