On the day of old Fred’s funeral

     The coffin reached the church,

And, carried on men’s shoulders,

     Went passed the weeping birch -


And on beyond the daffodils,

     Planted with some care,

And forward to the church door

     Where family waited there.


Nobody was dressed in black;

     No-one shed a tear

And Fred had told them firmly

     He didn’t want 'austere' -


'For I’ve lived my life upon this earth,

     And done the best I could.

I’ve sometimes said things I regret,

     And not always been good.'


'At my age I’ve lived far more years

     Than many people do.

I’ve done the things I wanted to,

     And many more things too.'


'I feel it’s time to say goodbye,

     And now I’m on my way,

But, I wouldn’t be at all surprised,

     If we meet another day.'


'I’ve lived to see my children grow,

     And met their children too,

And now that I’ve reached eighty-six

     There’s nothing left to do


'Except to move to my new home,

     Where I can start again –

And you get on, rejoice with me.

     Get pouring that champagne!'


So the organ played some happy hymns;

     The family said goodbye.

They toasted Fred with good champagne,

     Ate the salad and the pie.


Then, through the window came the sun,

     And shone upon the wall.

Could Fred have just called in to say

      'Goodbye' to one and all?



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By Josie Whitehead

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