While I’m on the funeral kick, I muse on the two funerals I went to in the past year. There were more but I’m a shirker when it comes to staring death down.
Two feisty women, late fifties early sixties, both taken out by The Dancer, dead. One woman whose prodigious energy created a idyllic family of three, many friends and that trickiest of all, a loving marriage. She read; she worked; she entertained; she was politically engaged and helped where she could. And all the time exuding an awesome elegance.
The other was forever setting up new projects, trying to change the world, recreating her life in cycles, sashaying forth with skill, flair and ideas, bringing up a son alone.
Both left wing, these friends of mine who did not know each other, were united in the fact that neither could see a wrong without trying to right it. A driving sense of justice ruled each compass.
And what a generation of women this was and is. We were formed by key social events of the times —the advent of TV, the swinging sixties, the pill, the Vietnam war, Vatican 2, feminism…. and that just takes us to the beginning of the 80’s.
It is a fascinating generation because it is one that faced great change agents and the first one where the majority faced real choices or learnt to balance work, family and play. I think the women of our mothers’ generation also faced great challenges (e.g. world wars, the depression, the loosening of the British straitjacket through immigration and growing affluence). I regret never chronicling some of that.
Anyway here’s to my dear dead friends and all the women of my generation.
PS I don’t think it too weird that I keep a list (on file on my PC) of all the people I have known who are dead. Why? So I don’t forget them.
I think all this maudlin’ stuff has been brought on by the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. I think I’ve written through it now!!