Like happiness, grief spreads.
I was one of six pall bearers at Mrs R's funeral. Her son, her son-in-law, two nephews (one on each side of the family), a nephew-in-law, and me.
I was honoured.
The casket was far heavier than I imagined. Much heavier.
That wasn't the only honour - I was seated right behind her husband and their 4 (adult children). The front 3 rows were immediate family.
The first row was the Col. and the 4 children, the second and third a combination of the spouses, grandchildren...and me.
Today, my friend (and former roommate) told me on the way to the airport that her cousin's 16 year-old daughter asked her this morning (before I got to the house),
"Remind me again how we're related to the guy from Scotland?"
Because Mrs R took it upon herself to make me part of the family all those years ago.
The grandchildren, ranging in age from 16 to 5, were so very upset at the loss of their grandma. One in particular, was sobbing so very heavily all the way through the ceremony and had to be supported.
It was hard not to feel their grief.
But of course I shed my own tears over my own fond memories.
I once introduced her to HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, in Covent Garden.