#True story: Paying tribute – Family, friends and fond farewells

Going to a funeral online is strange, very strange. But that is ‘the way things roll’ these days with the pandemic. I watched through 3 different cameras, and 3 different views. Each person sits on their ‘socially distanced’ chair. Facemasks are worn as an accessory to somber attire. But I’m looking from a distance, observing from afar. I’m embracing a stilted sadness but maybe that’s what I’m ‘bringing to the table’.

For me the heart of the event was not ‘lost in translation’ within this virtual world. The sadness lingers and translates in ‘pride of place’ speeches and photos heralding the life of someone much loved. They ‘pay tribute’. I feel like a flaneur, slowly considering each word and gesture of his family and friends from a virtual distance. I get to know his family, background, and accomplishments achieved. I’m watching slides and seeing my neighbour from a totally different perspective. It is special and precious.

I am honoured to have made this acquaintance. You see, knowing him at this level was outside my usual ‘frame of reference’. We were neighbours, sometimes chatting at the lift or grabbing a coffee with him and his wife. I had only picked up bits and pieces of their world. But one photo truly resonated with me and put a smile on my face. There he is with his takeout coffee sitting on his walking frame near our local cafe. I can see the exact spot in my mind.

Rest in peace.

Idiom/Phrase meaning

  • The way things roll – how thing are
  • Socially distanced – Guideline for keeping physically separated to reduce the spread of the virus
  • Bringing to the table – your contribution
  • not ‘Lost in translation’ – It was understood
  • Pride of place – treated as the most important thing
  • Paying tribute – honour and praise someone
  • Flaneur – People watching (French)
  • Frame of reference – set of ideas that you base your outlook on

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