I read in the obituaries that C____ had died. It’s a shame. I’d known him for a long time and I’ll miss him. I feel sorry for his wife and children as he was no age really. I’d hoped to go to the funeral but it was at the other end of the country and I just couldn’t make it. He was very popular and so I guessed that there would be a good turnout. It’s funny how we use that expression. We feel sorry for people who have very few turn up at their funeral, as if they will notice yet it is something to do with the family that is left behind.
I shouldn’t have worried though. It turns out that he was having one of those new eFunerals, you know the ones, they have been advertised across the media, both new and old.
I made the effort and logged in at the appropriate time. After a few minutes the web cam panned as the cortege swept across the neatly raked gravel in front of the chapel of rest. I watched in silence as the coffin was lifted in. I recognised some of the pall bearers from their Facebook profiles.
It was a simple ceremony and very tastefully done. He was not a particularly religious man but the eulogy was selected from a drop down box. His wife chose ‘humanist’. In the background the gentle hum of music could be heard. I recognised it as one of the online suggestions that I had made. We were able to vote for the piece that most reflected his personality. A download of his collection was available for a small fee. A keepsake perhaps?
As the virtual curtains slipped across my screen my thoughts drifted back to the many good times that we had had together. I pressed the condolence button in the bottom left hand corner. I saw that he had had 297 condolences already. He was very popular. I also followed the link to the Just Giving page. A charity had been selected for those who wanted to give something rather than send flowers.
Throughout the ceremony we had the opportunity to give our thoughts through the live Twitter stream using the hashtag #Funeral_C_____. It was very emotional. Everyone said such nice things.
A few days later I got an email from the eFuneral site telling me that his wife had decided to spread his ashes virtually in a certain location. She was able to choose form a wide range of official sites across the world that had been approved by the International Association of Funeral Providers (IAFP) as being suitable for such purposes. I was given the link to Google maps to show me where he had been laid to rest. C_____ had always liked the coast and his wife had chosen somewhere very beautiful. I’m sure he will be happy there.
I was also given a link to the online garden of remembrance, where I could see his name and a small plaque with a suitable dedication. I signed up to be sent a reminder every year on the anniversary of his funeral.
I’m going to miss him but he won’t be forgotten.