With parking at a premium we congregate outside the door
A sprinkling soft rain is just a prosy to ignore
Through chatter barely spoken our credentials lay undone
“No I didn’t know herself, but I played football with her son”
In the bowels the murmurings desist, the shuffle has begun
To the rear we deal in inches, movers-shakers on the run
Not yet to the water fount, avoid their seeking eyes
You know they know, they know you know, the journey that’s inside
On through the arch the task unfolds, convergence from all sides
Focus on the nape in front, the win to gain your stride
In single file we channel deep towards the blackened clan
To join or hold or yet extend the burden of your hand
Each “sorry for your troubles” only chasten the front row
Each awkward mini stand off till we find the face we know
Show purpose in your gesture, find feeling in your words
You are released, now go in peace once more into the herd
I’ll tell ya what’s a tough experience; Going to your first removal/funeral on your own. The act and art of sympathy and most likely in that order.
Some people are born for it, possibly because of an ability to deliver one of the prerequisites over the other. Its hard to say.
Non actors becoming the part. Actual sympathisers unable to perform to the expected standard. The rare few who excel under such circumstances.
And to that effect, don’t think the front row haven’t had to play the same role themselves, maybe three or four weeks ago, who knows.
Level yourself off what you think their expectations will be and also off the respect you might have for the dearly departed. Where that sits will likely govern how you get through this experience. It will undoubtedly vary..