Tuesday, 10 May 2011

First humanist funeral

Last week I had the misfortune to have to attend the funeral of a colleague.  It may seem strange to say this, but in the end I almost found it to be a pleasure.  Certainly I will remember it fondly.

It is not that I didn't care for him.  I was very sad that he had departed this life, but as we drove to the crematorium I wondered out loud whether it would be a humanist ceremony.  I knew that he was not a religious man.  Truly a good man - but not religious in any way.

Sure enough - the official was from the British Humanist Association (BHA), and she conducted the ceremony with respect and great dignity.  Three of his friends and his son spoke, and of course the three friends had to be gently persuaded to cut their words short due to time constraints.  Even that was achieved delicately and with a touch of humour.

The end result was that I came out of the 'chapel' feeling that we had truly celebrated the life of a great man.  Being naturally prone to tears, I think this is the first time that I have not had the need to feel embarrassed by lacrimosity at a funeral.

Well done BHA! 

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