In just a few minutes time, possibly whilst I am still typing this, the funeral of Charles Kennedy, former leader fo the Liberal Democrats, career politician, father and above all, human being will take place. The great and the good will gather. Respresentatives of parties who opposed his views. Public figures. And his family, his friends and the people who really knew and loved him. In the embrace for the church (Church) into which he was brought as an infant, in familiar words and ancient promises, in ritual and remembrance.
It strikes me as somehow significant that thirty minutes later, far away at the other side of the country, one of his former a constituents, J, a quiet, private woman married to an even quieter, more private, man, will be laid to rest. I can't be there - commitments in Glasgow made it unworkable - and I know that this will be a small, intimate affair. No press. No reporters. No public figures. Family and such friends as were able to travel. A humanist ceremony for a woman who lived a quiet life, unobserved, save by those who knew her.
Very different, and yet very similar. Each in thier fifties; both taken by cruel hidden diseases. Both people of principle and passion. Each loved and loving others.
A reminder, were one needed (I hope it is not) that at the heart of every large, public funeral is a real human loss, a family in grief.
A reminder too, were one needed (I hope it is not) that everyone is equally significant in the eyes of God; that a quiet life, lived privately and without report is just as valuable as one spent in the public arena.
So, I will take my lunch break and go to the park.
I will sit in the sunshine and pause to reflect and remember two people, one known a little, one known only by repute; both highlanders and each now at rest and peace.
Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon them, may they rest in peace.