Friday, December 11, 2015

the impossible assignment

So ... my father, understandably not feeling up to traveling to the wintry north to attend his sister-in-law's funeral, sends me off with instructions to take pictures.  "People take photographs at birthdays and weddings," he reasoned, so "why not funerals?"  I can think of a lot of answers to that, thinking, for a start, about how uncomfortable Annie Leibowitz's photographs of her father's funeral make me feel (not that I am AL; not that I would publish any such pictures, even here - but then, I wouldn't take them in the first place... ).  But at the same time, my father has a point: how does one honor the occasion?  Luckily, happily, the weather did that for me - first at the crematorium in Sheffield, then at the beautiful country church in the village of Eyam, and the ceremonies in both places were wonderful, and touching, and I am so very glad that I came.

And it was terrific to see my cousins, and extended family - their children, one grandchild, their cousins ... quite probably this is what my father wanted, some kind of commemorative family picture - and indeed, these give the impression of a pretty good party.

I know that it would have made Nancy very happy to have seen us all gathered together, and to have heard all the warm and loving tributes that were paid to her.

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