Remembrance Day

I travelled to Scotland last week for a funeral. It was not an unexpected trip, but one that came too soon, nonetheless.

David, my niece’s husband, was diagnosed with a brain tumour a year ago, and he died peacefully, with Fiona by his side, on August 1st. He was just 50 years old.

David was neither rich nor powerful, in the usual measures of these terms. He was a gardener and a family man. Yet he was loved and respected by many. His funeral was attended by over a hundred people paying their respects.

The funeral service was held at the graveside in Kirkcudbright cemetery. It was a Humanist burial, led by a Humanist Celebrant. She delivered a moving summary of David’s life, and I, like many others present I’m sure, smiled through my tears.

David and Fiona had chosen a Tom Leonard poem “Remembrance Day” to be read out. It was the perfect choice. It begins:

I know what it is
to be powerless

I know what it is
to be made to lie low

while the unknown enemy
invades you

There’s a recording of Leonard reading his poem here.

The cemetery is on a hillside, overlooking the small town of Kirkcudbright. It’s a wonderful spot.

20130807-1442-11 Stitch

David’s bodily remains lie here, but his memories live on in us.


About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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3 Responses to Remembrance Day

  1. Matt Healy says:

    You have my deepest sympathies. My sister died age 45 following a 2007 car accident, so I can tell you the sadness will never go away, but it will probably become somehow less acute with the passage of time.

  2. Pingback: Season’s Greetings | Geoff Coupe's Blog

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