Funerals are sad affairs. Bereavement can be a terrible blow and part of the purpose of a funeral is to provide an outlet for grief and a time for weeping and mourning. At the same time though it is a time when we need to hear something positive because we are also at a funeral to remember with joy a person's life and to look to the future with our loved ones and family around us bravely and with optimism.
Wilko Johnson has been a wonderful inspiration this year. Diagnosed with terminal cancer in January and having been told that he wouldn't see out this year this is what he said:
The things that used to bring me down, or worry me, or annoy me, they don’t matter anymore — and that’s when you sit thinking, ‘Wow, why didn’t I work this out before? Why didn’t I work out before that it’s just the moment you’re in that matters?’ Worrying about the future or regretting the past is just a foolish waste of time.... Every little thing you see, every cold breeze against your face, every brick in the road, you think ‘I’m alive, I’m alive’ — I hope I can hang onto that. I’ve had a fantastic life.... I think anybody who asks for more would just be being greedy. I don’t wanna be greedy.”
He was back in the news this week. Now unable to play concerts but still hoping to make some public appearances, he has been talking about his family, and how moved he has been by his fans' reaction to his illness.