Well, in our case, the Funeral Tea turned out to be a Light Lunch at the local pub.
Instead of tea and sandwiches, followed by cake, we had ordered soup and sandwiches, along with tea and coffee. Much more dad's thing. Food, rather than drink! In the end, the location proved to be perfect. The buffet was laid out in one room and the bar was separate, enabling those that wished to buy a drink (or several) to do so, without conflicting with anyone.
I would like to pass on my sincere apologies to everyone I didn't manage to talk to. Several times, just as I was about to speak to someone, I was dragged off to speak to somebody else. I know I saw many people I didn't actually speak to, I feel quite badly about it. Thank you, to those that made the journey to say farewell.
Often, as we grow older and our lives are so full, that we have little time, we forget that our parents have full lives too. They have friends to go to lunch with. Others to go to concerts with. Others to spend days with, and others to spend a few happy hours with, without seeing again for a long time. Often, we have no idea of the existence of these friends of our parents. Why would we? We have enough friends of our own, without adding to them. In our family, these 'extended friends' are all within our circle, as we talk so often about what we have each been doing. I know what is happening with the friends of my children, in the same way as the friends of may parents. If someone is ill, or has just had a wonderful holiday, I probably know about it. I may not have seen these people for a long time, but I still know of their existence, and how they fit within our family unit. It was wonderful to see so many of these faces on Thursday. Some, I had to be re-introduced to, as I hadn't seen them for many a year, but many were so familiar, it was as though we had seen each other only a few months ago.
There was much laughter and lots of chatting. Delight at seeing familiar faces, yet sadness at purpose of the gathering. There was no air of gloom. Mum and dad had done a lot of wonderful things, seen many wonderful places, and acquired a group of wonderful friends over their years together and what else should one do, but celebrate a life that was truly lived.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.