We zipped in and out of Montreal this weekend: went down for a funeral, stayed for dinner, and came home on Sunday. The deceased was the mother of a friend, a woman we’d never met, but we were there to show support and sympathy, and I’m so glad we went. Another friend of mine once said “if you ever wonder whether you should go to a funeral or not, the answer is go”. As someone whose family has had more than its share of losses over the past few years, I know how bracing and moving it can be to see a familiar yet unexpected face in the crowd. Also, to be perfectly frank, I appreciate a good memorial, particularly if the subject has lived long and prospered. Like the “Lives Lived” section of the newspaper, it can offer a glimpse into the world of a remarkable person and his or her family. The speakers are often well spoken and witty, the emotions almost always sincere. And of course there’s the chance to reconnect with old friends. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not my favourite way to spend an afternoon – that, of course, is arm wrestling over a bottle of tequila, but as funerals will occur with increasing frequency in the years to come, we might as well take from them what we can.
On that cheery note, today is Blue Monday, which experts claim is the most depressing day of the year. For whatever reason. Maybe because we’re in the depths of winter, with Christmas bills coming in, and no occasion to look forward to, unless you’re one of those dewy eyed romantic suckers that actually enjoys Valentine’s Day. Urgh. Personally, I quite like this time of year. There’s no pressure to get outside, or to entertain, or to visit anyone. It’s a great time to organize your closet or workshop, to make short ribs, to binge watch an entire season of a good TV show. Or to arm wrestle over a bottle of tequila. Life is long, and spring will come soon enough.