Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
fub

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Frisian funeral

Today, we attended the funeral of the father of a friend. It was a two-hour drive (which in the Dutch scale is actually quite long: we literally crossed half the country) to a small village in Friesland — and the weather was dreadful. We feared that we’d have to gather around the grave in the pouring rain, and we prepared by having spare dry socks and shoes in the car. (Klik’s grandmother was very specific: she wanted to be cremated, so that there was no need for us, her children and grand-children, to stand in foul weather around a grave on her behalf…)
The service was in the small village church which had been restored very handsomely indeed. And there were so many people that not everyone fit inside… The mourning card was all in Frisian (the second official language of the Netherlands, and spoken only/mainly in Friesland), and so was the service and even the psalms! I guess it’s to be expected for the funeral of the man who wrote the Frisian dictionary. I could understand some parts: the pastor spoke very clear and (I suspect) a Dutch accent, which certainly helped, but there were also parts that went completely over my head. There were some anecdotes that made people laugh, but I didn’t get any of the jokes…
By the time we stood around the grave, the rain had stopped and the sun broke through.

After the service, we talked a bit with our friend. We were almost the last to leave, and it was kind of late when we got back home. But it was good to be there for him.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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