“I dinnae ken what they’re doing,” says Josie.
“Ay, they’ve got it wrong,” agrees Jim. “We should go straight ahead here.”
The hearse is about four cars in front of us, just about to turn right at a road-sign saying Cemetery. In truth, I can’t help feeling that our best move is to follow. But what do I know? I’ve never been to Fife whereas Josie and Jim – BraveHeart’s siblings – grew up here.
Also, we’re in Jim’s car and he’s driving, so straight ahead we go, while the hearse – and most of the cars following it – turn right.
“I’m sure it’s Macduff Cemetery we want,” says Josie. “It’s where Susan’s Dad is buried. I passed it in the week and gave him a wave.” We check the Order of Service and it does indeed say that we start with a celebration of Susan’s life at The Studio – a sort of community hall – and then move on to Macduff Cemetery.
Glancing behind us, it seems that plenty of cars are still following the hearse. There had been literally hundreds of people at The Studio and as many standing as sitting; along the sides, across the back, filling the aisle.
Susan – BraveHeart’s sort-of-cousin – had only been in her mid-fifties. She’d worked at the town’s primary school and was clearly adored by not just her family but the whole community. The celebrant painted a vivid picture of an outgoing, vibrant woman who loved socialising and travel and hats. Just hearing about her full, positive life was an inspiration.
She did have some challenges, though. Susan, said the celebrant, had been an awfully clumsy woman with a dreadful sense of direction but the ability to turn mishaps into a source of humour. He’d told the story of her popping out to the kitchen to make a drink. Minutes later there was an almighty crash. Her daughter dashed in to see what had happened and found her pinned to the floor by an overturned kitchen unit, leaving just her legs sticking out. “Go and get the camera,” were her instructions.
We leave The Studio to the sound of one of her favourite songs – Hakuna Matata from the Lion King. No worries.
It is reassuring to find that we’re not the only people at Macduff cemetery. It’s pretty dreich as we wait but before long the celebrant turns up, and then the hearse, and then everyone else, and Susan is laid to rest.
At the wake afterwards, we join the queue to have a few words with Susan’s mum. She’s had a truly awful few months but it is with amusement that she tells us how the hearse carrying Susan had initially gone to the wrong cemetery. She smiles at the thought of how hilarious Susan would have found it, getting lost on her final journey.
Our journey to Scotland and back was pretty straightforward, thankfully, but DearHeart was amused by overhearing a woman complaining about her change at Edinburgh Waverly station. Reaching the correct platform had entailed a bit of a walk and using the escalators. “I’ve been up and down like a dodo,” she told her friend.
Wishing you, dear Reader, a peaceful and interesting New Year, and may all your dodos stay safely grounded.