There is no question. The Gorse Fox’s family knows how to throw a funeral. Ok, we’ve had plenty of practise over the years, after all. (All our predecessors have died!). But we excelled when it came to the Bishop.
Arundel Cathedral was full – the choir was in good voice, and the concelebrants oversaw the proceedings as we celebrated a life well-lived. You might expect sorrow and sobbing. That is not our way. It was solemn, but up-beat. Up-lifting, yet light-hearted and GF’s cousin read out a brilliantly crafted eulogy that had the assembled throng smiling and chuckling.
We followed the coffin, in procession down to the cemetery. Walking behind the hearse, breathing deeply of its exhaust the Gorse Fox noticed that this wasn’t just any exhaust, this was Rolls Royce exhaust. At the grave-side the coffin was committed to the earth in plot above the town with views out to sea (not that the Bishop will notice). A muffled ring could be heard from a mobile phone – was it the Bishop’s? We never found out as it was soon muted.
The Bishop’s immediate family left the grave and went to thank the priests and the choir. Gorse Fox noticed his aunt kissing the choir girls and realised this was an aspect of the funeral he hadn’t expected. He pointed this out to his brother-in-law and commented “this could take some time”. As he turned the Silver Vixen explained that this was not expected of all the congregation and he should get back in his box. (An interesting turn of phrase given the circumstances).
Everyone mustered in the Norfolk Arms for tea and cake and GF, the Silver Vixen and Urban-cub got the chance to catch up on the lives and loves of both close and distant cousins and their families. It was a lovely afternoon and we resolved to set up a major family “do” in 2012 – this time not requiring anyone to be buried as part of the event.
As we all broke up Gorse Fox’s tiny sister and her husband agreed to join us for a meal before heading back to the wilder parts of Berkshire.