Friday, 16 August 2013

A Hand Shake

I wanted to write a funny post today
But sometimes the Gods of blogging conspire against a person.....
It's not as though anything funny has happened over the last 24 hours ( I have a knack of wringing out a funny situation from the most bizarre of situations) it's just that certain things tend to stick in your mind more that others.
Yesterday, I was happy to help out at Sylvia's funeral " tea". I collected plates, served the older people at their tables, poured out tea and coffee and slipped  the more distraught  guests with extra large helpings of sherry that had been left over from the meet and greet table.
 I , like the other helpers were glad to be there. There is something totally therapeutic in mindless activity, especially if everyone is feeling just a little " out of sorts" so to speak.
After the bun fight was almost over, and as I was folding some of the tables away, Sylvia's grandson, a rather serious boy of around ten or eleven, interrupted me and held out his hand.
Quite formally he thanked me for helping with his " grandmother's funeral" and shook my hand with all of the seriousness of an old man.
His genuine and spontaneous act brought a lump to my throat
I am still thinking about it this morning

52 comments:

  1. I guess, it's not common for a boy of such an age to behave in such a formal manner, depending on where you come from. He obviously recognised all the help you gave towards making sure his grandmother had a lovely send off and he wanted to make sure you knew he appreciated it. What a beautiful gesture coming from such a young one.

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  2. I bet that young boy grew up a lot at his gran's funeral.

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  3. That's lovely. Very genuine.

    My only just three year old great nephew suddenly looked up at me from what he was doing and said, Thank you for having me "
    He'd obviously been drilled by my niece, but she was upstairs so it was just him & me and he said it unprompted.
    He can come again !

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  4. That's lovely, you'll remember that for years to come.

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  5. Little gestures like that at such a sad occasion really hit home, don't they John ? A very thoughtful gesture from one so young. XXXX

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  6. Just as people can be racist or sexist so they can also be ageist. Not all ten and eleven year old people are the same and in my humble opinion it's wrong to pigeonhole them.

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  7. How lovely. And you have brought a lump to my throat.

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  8. So many kids are so rude these days, it's lovely when they surprise you like that.

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  9. What a very mature and polite young man. Someone has done a good job. Brave lad.

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  10. Very sweet. A credit to his gran.

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  11. That young man will always be well thought of. People value "old fashioned" manners like his.

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  12. I suspect his gran was beaming fondly down on him in approval at his good manners. What a nice thing for a young 'un to do.

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  13. Beautiful and very touching. Sylvia is shining through him.

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  14. His parents raised him right.

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  15. What a little sweet heart he was....having learned already how important it is to recognize kind acts.

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  16. How touching.
    That bought quite a lump to my throat too.

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  17. Oh - now I have to go find a Hankie. Very sweet.

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    1. He's growing up well...and early.
      Jane x

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  18. Sounds like that young chap was significantly more mature and wise than many a person several times his age.

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  19. John, I just figured out why I like you so much! You don't miss a thing in your day to day activities and can be very witty about them and yet can see the seriousness and appreciation shown by a child who appreciated what you were doing for his grandma.
    I'd say you are one 'well-grounded' man.

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    1. Well said, Jim.

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    2. Thank you jimbo
      That was sweet of you to say

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    3. Jim, now you've done it! He'll be preening himself all day now. Even, I bet, standing before a full-length mirror to admire the view. :-)

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  20. The years I worked in hospice, we called the meals afterwards "Grief Buffets" Good for you for being so involved in your community and even though you might not like it John (it's still one of my favorite names!) YOU are a role model. Keep it up.

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  21. When we briefly lived in Wales, it was traditional to close the curtains of a deceased's home (something to do with 'devils', I think). Do they do that in Trelawnyd?

    My Aussie grandson has a habit of going up to young ladies and saying 'You're very pretty'. Not a bad chat-up line for an 8 year old.

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    1. My grandmother used to draw her curtains and she was from Liverpool
      I am not sure if the neighbours of Sylvia draw theirs cro

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  22. What a lovely young man. Sylvia is definitely living on in him. I love your funny posts, John, but always love your thoughtful ones as well.

    Nancy in Iowa

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  23. Yup, lump in my throat, as well.

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  24. :) What a nice gift for you.....and you deserved it!

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  25. What a well mannered lad.

    Thank you for helping and sorry for your loss.

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  26. Reaching for my hanky.

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  27. What a thoughtful and polite young man, he's been 'raised' right, as they would say in these parts.
    I'm sure you brought a little happiness in just being there, you are well-loved in the village, Sylvia would be smiling down on you...
    ~Jo

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  28. I read you post earlier on in work today but couldn't post. It brought a tear to my eye, what a lovely well brought up little boy.

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  29. Damn you. I just cleaned my contacts lenses this morning and now Im gonna get salt eye all over again...

    xoxox

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  30. God Love him. A well brought up young lad and a credit to his Grandmother who I'm sure he will miss very much.

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  31. Isn't it lovely to hear something so heart-warming about a young man John - so often all we hear is criticism.

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  32. That made me cry. Bless the boy!

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  33. What a sweet young man...I'm sure Sylvia would be very proud. Off to get a tissue.

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  34. It's always the simple of things that mean the most...

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  35. That's the sort of unexpected gesture you remember way after all the other details of the funeral have long vanished from memory. It's fascinating how children can be totally frivolous one moment and totally serious and grown-up the next.

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    1. Nick....well observed ....
      The whole experience moved me greatly

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  36. That was so nice of him to thank you, John. Someone had made a good job of bringing him up.

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  37. At the last funeral I attended. I smiled and spoke and shook hands; it was the last funeral I'll ever attend. I loathed every moment I spent with relatives I hadn't seen for decades, but who were - nevertheless due to some mysterious custom - ushered to the front of the pues. I'm glad I was mature enough to be in a position to recognise just how empty those formalities were. I would rather have weeped and wailed about a funeral pyre; or so I now imagine for no doubt I would find such rites too alien to me now I've inculcated our routines of shaking hands with strangers. That's not to say I think your young man has anything like my reaction to shaking hands with someone at a funeral, just that I remember my own misplaces attempts at maturity in the same situation.

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    1. I have thought about this a great deal..... And I understand your feelings on "unreality"
      I have experienced many similar feelings when juggling my own grief with the irritation of" why have you bothered to come?"
      The truth is..... Everyone has their own reasons ...good and bad.....for attending a funeral

      My overwhelming feeling with this young chap, is that he comes from a family of women...and therefore .he was acting as an alpha male...

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    2. I'd like to apologise for inappropriately venting spleen arising from my own personal issues around some of our funereal customs! But I'd also like to thank you for such a thoughtful reply. You have a delightful blog here :)

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    3. Rant away
      Its more interesting

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  38. Bless the boy. And thanks for telling us about it.

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  39. He sounds like a charming little boy.

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  40. that is the sweetest story!

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  41. He was taught well.

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  42. Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh x

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  43. A wonderful young man, that one.
    *hugs* ♥

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