The Undertaker.Peter Abraham.
With a black top hat and hollowed out cheeks, he greets grieving families seven days a week. Starched white shirt with wing tip collar, herringbone waistcoat gold plated cuff links all prim and proper.
Grey striped trousers, polished leather shoes, a case of coffin brochures so many to choose. Walnut, oak, elm and solid pine a terrible choice to make when grief is so great.
Tape measure in hand ready to size up the corpse. Lying in state in the chapel at the hospital morgue. Measurements taken, coffin on order the funeral has been arranged he’ll won’t let anything falter.
Frock coat pressed no need for tails, conducting wand polished as shiny as coffin nails. Silk black cravat adorns his slender neck, every item of clothing carefully in check. On show to the world nothing must go wrong. The master of ceremonies leading the procession to the sound of the church gong.
Polite and courteous every step of the way. The family of the deceased his main priority on the day. Their grief he handles in his expert hands, nothing must interrupt his carefully laid out funeral plans. Comforting the bereaved in the best way he can, the family truly thankful to this remarkable man.
Beep, beep, beep goes the heart monitoring machine. Not a doctor, nurse or care assistant to be seen?Peter Abraham.
Beep, beep, beep it goes again. He lies there awake thinking when will this end? Early morning starts and blood pressure checks not welcome procedures but the doctors and nurses are doing their best.
Staff shortages means breakfast is late but have no fear they’re only on ward eight.
The food is quite good for a hospital ward. Usually quite awful and atrociously poor. Corn flakes for breakfast washed down with tea. Medication follows much needed desperately. Lunch time arrives with goodies on the trolley what shall he have nothing too jolly? Juice to start followed by pasta a fruit crumble to finish not such a disaster. Tea time arrives a welcome final meal. Soup to start to begin a hearty meal. Roast beef to follow smothered in gravy it goes down a treat what a smashing deal. Ice cream for afters only vanilla will do. With food done and dusted all for the day back into bed he returns his prayers he will pray.
The bleeping has finally stopped but things do not end there. A bed bath is order where all is laid bare. Demoralised with despair he gets undressed, carbolic soap doesn’t smell the best. The rest of the patients go about their business. Blood tests, and chest exams all a constant pest. Sat back in bed all scrubbed and pressed he lays there thinking all of this for a dodgy chest.
A hearse awaits its corpse all shiny and black. Windows highly polished its driver dressed in frock coat and top hat. The coffin is decorated with flowers and cards, loaded onto the hearse all ready to depart.Peter Abraham.
Then engine starts and the gentlemen get in. Only a short journey to the cemetery for this persons next of kin. As the car winds its way down the narrow road lookers on bow their heads not need to be told. The sign of the cross one man makes. Wiping a tear from his eye after loosing his wife his heart still breaks.
Silence falls in the hearse no radio noise no jokes to be heard. All the way to the cemetery the men sit in silence. The the odd cough and sniffle but nothing more not even a giggle. As the sun beats down onto the wooden coffin the journey is nearly over the family relieved this journey will be stopping.
Into the cemetery gates the hearse slowly drives up the winding paths to the cold grave side. The flowers delicately placed around the grave careful not to disturb others in this place. The coffin is lifted out of its chauffeur carried on shoulders to the final resting place their footsteps much slower. A few short paces and they are there. The journey is now over nothing more to be done. One more souls laid to rest the hearses job is now done.
It’s 9am in the morning and the cemetery gates open. Another busy week starts new graves have been chosen.Peter Abraham.
The wrought iron gates riddled with rust are pushed open into life not long now before they become dust. The quietness of the graveyard fills the open air. Waiting widows cry tears of despair.
Gravediggers dig graves six foot by two not only reopens but some new for two. Marble slabs glisten in the winter sun a young lad looks on he misses his mum. The crisp winter wind whistles around the stone angels as another funeral approaches one more coffin to add to the ever growing cemetery tables.
The chapel primed for it’s first visitors of the day a grieving mother should not be there not ever not today! The minister waits patiently to receive the funeral party an undertaker ushers them inside to get proceedings started.
Half an hour later the service all done. Off out into the cold for the committal to be completed, around an empty grave the mourners will be seated. As the coffin is lowered and dirt thrown onto the lid the pall bearers bow their heads they have done their final bid.
The grave is covered and the body laid to rest. Flowers put on top grave diggers depart and onto the next. The day is now done the cemetery gates close. Tomorrow is a new day the gates will open again and will eventually gently close.
Her husband dies quietly in the night. With no great fuss and no real fight. He slips peacefully away in the wee small hours his widow cries his widow cowers. Where do I go, what do I do she asks? Her whole world has crumbled she is taken to task.Peter Abraham.
Strange men arrive to take her beloved away. How can this have happened tomorrow will not be a good day. Off back to bed she goes her husband now in her prayers. The whole house empty totally hers.
Dressed in black with handkerchief in hand she makes her way to the undertaker as long has been planned. Coffins and caskets are all on offer, embalming and brass handles all extras to ponder. She leaves the undertaker a few tears lighter her grief still raw the world not much brighter. Lonely she walks along cobbled streets, reminiscing of good times with her beloved in the summer heat. To an empty house she will go supper for one her emotions running low.
The day of the funeral rapidly approaches a hearse winds it's way trailing two coaches. As the rain beats down on the glass hearse window she looks at the coffin and thinks I am now a widow. The mourners enter the cars and travel to the cemetery. A beautiful plot she's selected one where she can share a loving memory.
As the priest commits the body to the ground the grieving widow looks on and remembers how they where once bound. Goodbye my love but not for long. I will join you soon so please stay strong. The funeral is over the ritual done she makes her way back to the house where their lives had once begun. Off to bed she goes her husband in her prayers. She is taken that night the kingdom of heaven is now all theirs.