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Just sitting at Oxford services off the M40 at the moment after attending Stourbridge Crem for Tas's send off. I have to say the first thing I noticed was how small the number attending was. I realise people have commitments, and would not for one second expect the whole world to show up, but Tas was such a loving a popular guy I am shocked at how few made the trip. Tas's side of the family was missing, for what I understand to be religious reasons, so it was left to some close friends and loved ones to be in on the service.

I have not seen Tas for a number of years now, and while he was dear to my heart, I didn't feel I had a place in the actual service, so waited just outside while it all took place. I waited and spoke with Kim, Tas's ex-wife who also wanted to pay her respects.

Once the service had finished and people begun to exit, I left. The one thing I hate about funerals is the falseness of some of the people you will meet there. Fake smiles, false recollections, and empty "nice to see you, we should get together" stuff. Seen and heard it all before, and quite frankly it makes me feel sick, so I prefer to avoid it.

The setting and the weather however... Beautiful to say the least. A warm, clear, sunny spring day, and a hill top crematorium for him to begin his final journey.

So as I put distance between myself and the event, I sit in the sunshine reflecting on 10 or so years of knowing Tas, the moments we shared, and how things went over the years. A quiet loveable guy, loved to smile and be in groups of car lovers, pride in his ride, and an appetite for life. Tas, you were one of the genuine ones out there and your passing is a great loss to many many more than who came to say farewell today.

I am thankful that I managed to get to see Cadell and Archie (my newly adopted son lol) too. Its nice to mix some happiness with the sadness of today. Another Travelodge ticked off my to-do list. This is becoming a bit of a habit now. And a visit to a Sainsburys which seemed like something from the past lol.

So as I drive back towards London shortly I wave farewell to much from the past and present, and wonder when I will next travel these roads. Possibly to see my aunt at the weekend, who knows.

Til then, its back to the realities of home again. Sort mum out, get the dogs walked and get back on with life. Time to get off my arse, out of the sun and back on the road now I guess. *sigh

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How complicated can life possibly be, and how can it get even more complex after the life has ended? Its amazing how living your own life is complicated in itself, but once decisions start being made for you in your absence it gets wild and crazy. Reading of wills causes bickering between immediate family, final wishes cause confusion between loved ones.
It is truly astounding that while many live selfish lives, that in your passing the fighting doesn't end, but instead seems to intensify. Everyone knowing a small aspect of a persons life, one little piece of an entire existence, yet we all become experts in their wishes and wants in life.
The passing of a friend, an acquaintance, or a loved one is a time for grieving, celebrating and coming to terms with the fact that they are no longer with us. Not a time to dig up the dirt of the past, hold grudges or start fights. From near or afar anyone who has shared a connection with the person has a right to pay their respects in some form. Maybe not be a speaker at the service, maybe not the closest person to the deceased any longer, but if done tactfully and in line with the wishes and respects of those closest, they should be allowed to say farewell.

When my nan died, the first thing that happened was an out and out war over her house. How it should be sold, what price etc. Nan's final wish was for the two sides of the family to be one again, but that lasted all of about 2 hours! Now, the family is divided as it ever was. All the wishes of nan left behind, all the respect that should have been paid to her and her wishes have been lost in greed and selfish behaviour of others wanting to be in control of the situation. Acting in "the best interests" of the deceased.

It honestly sickens me when this happens. An hour, a day, the last one we can share with a person we claim to care about, but instead it descends into turmoil and one final bitch fight.

Its times like this I think, when I die, shove me in a box, invite no-one, burn me and let me just disappear without being the cause of more anger and conflict!

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