Today I am home in Lewis. The place of my birth. It’s a long where from where I live now, far from where I work most of the time. Its a long ‘where’ from anywhere. 40 nautical miles from the West Coast of the North of Scotland I believe, but I have no real interest in the exactness of that. It’s where I come from, for most of my life it’s been the centre of my universe, so really I leave it to others to work that distance out.
I am home for a funeral.
Funerals the world over are different. I found myself at a funeral in London once. It was the end of a tour. The end of a play. The beautiful actor and bon vivant Simon Mackenzie, when he saw the joyous dancing over at the other side of the restaurant we were in said, ‘Go sing for the bride and groom’, and when I approached the group and offered to do so I found it to be a funeral. It was a Lebanese restaurant and they were celebrating the dead.
Is Lewis funerals are much more reserved. Voices are kept low and there is no raucous singing or dancing. Here in Lewis some members of my family will not come to the grave side as that is still not the place for women. I can respect that but also feel times have changed.
Tomorrow though we will all remember the life gone. We will reflect.
I have good memories. XX