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Issue 1/2007, January 6 2007 (No. 229)

German version
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ISSUE 001-07:




Man is a blade exposed to the elements.

Mr. K. was more than ninety years old when he died a few weeks ago. His wife died a long time ago. They had no children. I was present at his funeral. But it wasn't really a funeral, it was only a funeral service because I didn't see how the gravediggers let the coffin down into the grave.
I wasn't in a church either, I was in a funeral home. This funeral home was a middle-sized, white-painted house. A quite extensive parking place was located behind the house. When I arrived, several old men and old women were getting off a car. One of the men looked like Mr. K.I thought it must have been a brother of Mr. K. I told the brother that I was present at the funeral service because Mr. K had sometimes helped me.
I followed the members of the family. In the corridor of the funeral home we were welcomed by a bald middle-aged gentleman. He wore a grey suit, a tasteful tie and a complacent permanent smile, which businessmen keep, who welcome mourners every day, have those visitors a short time and shortly afterwards say goodbye to them.
I got to a little bright panelled hall which had no windows. To the right and to the left of an aisle were several rows of chairs. Thecoffin had been put in front of the rows. Around the coffin were flowers and candles. Portato and very artificial musicof an electronic organ could be heard. But there was no organ and no organist. It was canned music.
I sat in the back of the hall. There were about thirty mourners. The bald gentleman went around at a measured pace and made sure everything's all right. Another middle-aged gentleman appeared. He wore a suit which was a little bit creased. He approached the members of Mr. K's family and introduced himself. He was a clergyman. Then he left the hall.
I looked round. I saw several neighbours of Mr. K. Among those neighbours were a doctor, a master craftsman, whose wife had died a long while ago, and another neighbour. This neighbour lovingly nurses her old sick mother. Mr. K's geriatric nurse was weeping and running around. I didn't know most of the mourners.
Finally the clergyman came in again and stood by the coffin. He was wearing a cassock. The canned music ran on. When it stopped at long last, the clergyman started to say religious texts and prayers.
cemetery still life
The sermon didn't almost contain any details of Mr.K's life and personality. The clergyman strung together general symbolic statements about human life and death. I only remember a sentence about Mr. K's longstanding factory work. Towards the end of the funeral service the mourners were once asked to do something. The clergyman requested them to stand up and to say the Lord's prayer. Finally he invited the mourners to lunch in a restaurant on behalf of the family. Then the meeting came to an end. At the door of the hall the permanently smiling gentleman turned up again.
When I left the house, I saw the clergyman standing in the corridor. He stood there a little bit like our previous country vicar when he friendly said goodbye to the members of his congregation at the door of the church. But this clergyman was looking like an insecure man. He was giving the impression of being forlorn and under a lot of pressure.
At the door of the funeral home I had a few words with the doctor about Mr. K. A neighbour of Mr. K offered me to give me a lift. But I was glad that I could go to the parking place behind the house and get on my bicycle.
Behind the house stood a van of the nearby cemetery. A young woman, who wore work clothes, was leaning on the tailgate of the van. She was looking at the rear entrance of the funeral home.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please also read:

Finds (6)  about scrapped tombstones

Charlie Dittmeier's articles about a chinese funeral, diary entry of October 11 and 12 2005. The link leads to the latest entry of the diary. Please scroll down.

Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Thursday, February 1 2007
because of technical changeover.
I do apologize.I'm going to compensate you for the waiting period by a double issue.

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We would like to point out that we translated articles from German into English for the purpose of service. We would like to make it clear that the German translations are deciding, because the articles are directed to users who live in Germany.

Wir möchten darauf hinweisen, dass wir zu Servicezwecken englische Übersetzungen vorgenommen haben. Klarstellen möchten wir, dass maßgeblich die deutsche Übersetzung ist. Grund dessen ist, dass wir uns an in Deutschland ansässige Nutzer wenden.

Please also read Cats Talk (33)

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