|No fault of Nick's, the two awful middle names were rarely used|
Emotion has no place when writing about emotion.
It was the same old grind with my piece for Nick's funeral. One word then another, acknowledging that any, or all, might be deleted or replaced. Nouns and verbs preferred to adjectives and adverbs. Jargon words peculiar to these occasions (eg, "condolences") avoided. The aim being to re-establish the ideas behind the jargon and cause them to live again. Clarity beats vagueness but it's harder to write.
Revision was never-ending, practising the stuff aloud within the five-minute limit. Describing myself I replaced "journalist" with "hack" for reasons I don't understand.
I could have used boffo anecdotes. I included two very mild jokes and sensed a response. But parts of Nick's life were troubled and even tragic and had left scars. This was no time to resurrect these matters or make fun. I mentioned a poignant moment and referred to Nick as complex. Hoping the evident goodwill would arrive with an ounce of sympathy. It did.
Emotion overcame me during the final sentence and I started to strangle. Ironically the words weren't mine but by Nick's best friend, living in Australia, paying tribute to the awful burden of support borne by Nick's elder daughter, Kate.
I gargled, was surprised, then appalled. Then thought: why not?
THE HYMN. The organist was a pro and played at a fast clip; no rests between the lines. I was dry from speaking but sang loudly and confidently if not resonantly. The man in the pew in front of me was huge and immobile; a wall of Jericho, perhaps?