Last week I attended the funeral of a relative. She was elderly and had been in poor health for some time, but despite the relief that she was no longer suffering, there still remained an element of sadness at the realisation that person was gone forever.
However it was the eulogy, delivered in this case by the vicar, that intrigued me the most. He talked of her family and friends; her school days and time as head girl; her working life and holidays, alongside numerous other things that gave her and my uncle enormous pleasure. Imagine my surprise when the clergyman mentioned the novels of Catherine Cookson. Apparently she had enjoyed both reading them and watching their dramatisation on television. It made me realise the profound effect a writer’s insight can have on an individual’s life. And what better accolade for a meaningful existence, than to know that one’s creation has been instrumental enough to be mentioned in the final testament of an anonymous reader’s time on earth.
Writing helps to enrich the lives of others and gives solace and a diversion to many who spend long hours alone or incapacitated due to ill health. The words of C.S. Lewis phrased it perfectly: “We read to know we are not alone.”
Leaving the crematorium I felt more determined than ever to continue on my writing path, even if it does feel sometimes as if any smidgen of success were beyond the realms of attainability.
So, Godspeed, Auntie Beryl, to the next dimension! And wherever it may be, I hope it houses a well-stocked library full of your favourite reads.
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