Sunday, 15 June 2014

A FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND

Jon at our place...
                  
Jon and Martin at their anniversary do...



Jon’s funeral was a colourful affair and we’d both taken the day off work for it.
Haddy would not be going to the pub for drinks afterward as she had used up all her holiday for her evening job, so I’d run her to work when she needed to go and then go back.
We’d all been e-mailed and text’d to make sure we didn’t wear any black at the family’s request.
This was totally understandable but it definitely put the kibosh on wearing any stage gear, so, much to Haddy’s disgust, I denim’ed it and she African’ed it.
We got there mid-way through the previous service and just parked up and waited.
I knew that there would be a few there, but as the cars pulled in there seemed to be hundreds ?
Grant, Sarah and Marcus with Charlotte, Jonny T and Jo.
Anji Archer, plus nearly everybody he’d shared the farmhouse studios with, and still people were arriving.
Jon’s family.
His partner Martin, with his family…
They crammed in as many as they could, but it was definitely standing room only around the sides and at the back.
The thing about Jon was that he had so many different interests and friends from all over, and most of them had turned up…
Being a Humanist funeral there was not going to be any religious input but there were going to be a few poems and songs scattered through the service.
And when the wicker coffin was carried in there was a spontaneous round of applause.
It’s one of those strange feelings when half your mind wants to cry at such a sad occasion and the other half wants to cheer out loud for a friend who had bucked the system and had done things their way.
The strange thing was that I wasn’t the only person who felt like that, and when the Minister announced that since Jon had actually died on their boat doing something that he loved, I just felt that the choice of music was so appropriate and it was something that would have made everybody smile inside.
It was perfect and at the same time it was just so Jon.


We filed outside afterwards and although some were fighting back the tears, I felt quite calm and peaceful.
Since his operation nearly eighteen months ago he’d been in and out of hospital with an infection that never seemed to leave him.
It had dragged him down and although he’d fought it every which way, it always seemed one step forward and two steps back.
Now he was at peace and the pain had gone.
Obviously the pain of his loss had transferred to his family and his friends but we’d remember the things that made us laugh and smile and someday we’d just remember him as he was.

Some of Jon's artwork: A comment on foot and mouth... (I love this one...)

 Certainly one of the most talented people I’d known.

Jon and Martin at Rhythms of the World 2011

Friend, Parnassus colleague, poet, artist, sculptor, quiet activist... 

Joy T. Jon and me on stage during Jon's set at Rhythms of the World 2011

Just a wonderful guy to have as a friend, and you can never have too many of them.

Pissed as a rat at his and Martin's anniversary party... 



2 comments:

GRANTS PAGE said...

Absolutely beautiful and spot on Chris, thanks for this.

GRANTS PAGE said...
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