Letter to the editor – We’ll meet again

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Dear Editor,

“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when….” the beautiful lyrics of the classic Vera Lynn song were a perfectly appropriate choice for the funeral of my mother, Doreen Hunt, a child of the Second World War, who met her husband at the station where the news of Britain being at war was first radioed to the Naval Fleet. My sister suggested the song be printed on the card for the funeral service and we all agreed. Many modern funerals now end with a rousing, uplifting song at the end to send participants back out into the world of the living. My sister did not want this, she felt that the Vera Lynn song would be more in keeping with the feeling of gravitas that she predicted she would be experiencing at the close of the emotional day. She asked for a recording to be played. I disagreed with this as my experience while pursuing my Master’s program at Trinity College was whenever a prerecording was used during a service there was a momentary awkwardness while the person responsible for pushing the ‘play’ button verified that it was the correct moment. Often the recording did not play as predicted, with some technical complication causing an awkward delay. My own thought was that there was an extremely capable and talented musician present on the piano, why not allow him to gauge the moment and come in at the appropriate time? On this I was overruled and that was fine, a funeral salon is no place for arguments. At the end of the service Vera Lynn’s voice sweetly filled the room after only a brief pause while the Director’s Bluetooth connected to the audio system. As planned, he picked up my mother’s ashes and recessed from the room. Unplanned, his Blutooth connection disconnected and the music stopped. The beautiful lyrics were interrupted by the sound of static and crackle of the connection trying to re-establish itself. That is when the most magical thing happened: softly, gently, embracingly, the murmur of a room full of voices picked up the melody where the recording had left off.. “Keep smiling through, just like you always do, ’til the blue skies send the dark clouds away…” The Kemptville community I know and love came through, in the gentle, loving, unassuming way that they so often do, picking up the verses and bringing my mother’s funeral to an unexpected and deeply touching end.

Susan Hunt

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