A man at my church has just died, and we are going to his funeral tomorrow. It's going to be a weird experience, I think, when it's not long since my Mum's funeral. He had two sons, one of whom is only a couple years younger than me, and I can't even begin to imagine what things are like for him, despite both our parents dying of cancer, about a month apart. His father has battled brain cancer for about as long as I have known cancer existed. It became obvious about a year ago (or maybe more) that it was terminal, and so he has had to cope with seeing his dad extremely unwell for a whole year. Although my mother had the disease for five or so years, it was never as obviously bad as I had imagined it could be, until about a month before her death. Whereas Murray has had to deal with a lot more things than me. I wonder if he feels it's a relief, like I did.
My dad and I will be playing the piano and organ at the service. We have been busy today sorting out all the music details; what music to play before and after, who plays what, volume, etc. It's nice to be able to choose what music to play yourself, which doesn't happen at church very often. We've been given a couple of hymns for during the service, but beforehand, as people come in, we will be playing music like Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, by Bach, Duetto, by Mendelssohn, How Beautiful are the Feet, by Handel (from Messiah), a few obscure but beautiful hymns, Bist du bei Mar, by Bach, Hear My Prayer, by Mendelssohn, and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. After, we're playing He Shall Feed His Flock, another Messiah piece. I love classical/baroque/Romance period music. I think it often helps to have a bit of music training behind you in understanding music like that in a modern culture, but I still don't understand why many people get so bored by older music. Something like Finlandia, by Sibelius... phew, you just can't describe it, it's one of the most exciting pieces ever, or a Rachmaninov piano concerto. Wow. Or the amazingly simple but awe-inspiring vocals on choral pieces like Miserere Mei, Deus, or Agnus Dei. Or just the good old classics like the Hallelujah chorus. My sister walked up the aisle to the last two or three minutes of Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, by Grieg, and by gum that was a good choice. Too bad I can't do that if I get married--it's a pain having five older siblings who choose the best stuff first!
Patty and Vicki, thanks for your comments. Patty, I have real trouble believing you could cure me of my panic attacks, they're so ingrained. :) You might be able to calm me down temporarily, but 'temporarily' is the important word there. Soon, when you'd gone, I'd start worrying again and go completely berserk. (Okay, well, I'm not quite at the insanity stage, but sometimes I could be!)