Funerals are for the Dead – Not for disillusioned Retirees!

by Gordon Kinghorn

There thrives a present-day phenomenon which now traditionally and inexplicably exists when people invariably come face-to-face with the funeral rites of their respective working lives; it is clearly a noisy ritual, replete with unbridled and voluminous passion, consisting of either brazen delirium – or that of tortured, vocalised and agonised screeches of nonplussed abandonment, fired and fuelled by a sense of Herculean personal loss.

As for me, and in-keeping with my Scottish roots, I possessed nothing less than a robust, Caledonian inner entreaty to exhibit a liberty-laden rendition of the ‘Highland Fling’, by merrily dancing in kilted attire on the grave of all that once was, thus; the gruelling ‘norm’ of one’s once exhausting, contemporary workplace routine .

The latter category of mourners to which I hesitatingly acknowledge within my salutary paragraph, are the very same who defiantly publish their galling retirement obituaries on the pages of Retirement-on-Line – and with tedious and alarming frequency too I must patronisingly add, ergo; those who struggle in pledging a Faustian pact with the natural laws of life, crazily shooting themselves in the foot with each and every vowel, consonant and phrase they limply and unconvincingly scribe, so- much-so that the rasping ricochets of their vociferous displeasure, kills-off any chance of them fully reaping the prosperous rewards of their otherwise, much-deserved retirement years.

Though it is perfectly natural to ‘feel’ for people who suffer an immeasurable depth of psychological throbbing at the merest suggestion or insinuation of retirement, I nonetheless stand, or sit aghast when deciphering copious stanzas of melancholic veiled syntax from both real-time - or prospective retirees, I’m certain that one could - and realistically would expect to skim through more upbeat epitaphs from those facing lynching, or of being informed that the last bullet was being reserved for him of her, all as a direct consequence of their enforced, disagreeable retirement issues.

A noteworthy number of ill-thought-out comments which I have reluctantly ingested of late, courtesy of a flock of disorientated, fledgling retirees, and that of the wrongful blame they attach to the decision-makers within the organisations who insensitively led them to the threshold of retirement perdition, is truly a most bewildering conclusion. Letters to Wendy strike me as being more akin to helpless pleas of near-infantile mitigation, in stark contrast to the much-needed key commentaries on the beauty of independent self-determination in a glorious, autumnal, post-employment setting.

When all is said and done, a basic confrontation with self-honesty should be enough to discourage the simplistic tendency of wantonly apportioning blame on previous employers, it is ‘Father Time; and ‘Mother Nature’ who eventually ‘call-the-the-shots’ after all! Disillusioned 60+ something’s have no moral right or justification to reclaim an existence that once merged or coincided with the birth of the Beatles - and that of the murderous elimination of JFK.

Should our persistent retiree complainants gracefully and compliantly decide to focus on the undeniable verity that the hellish consequences of being born, is that we are all sure to wither - and one distant day, finally expire. What we specifically do with our privileged, elongated time, and long before arrangements are made for our own funeral, surely, the next stage of life must represent more than melancholic, pitiful missives to ROL?

I believe it was the American author; Ray Bradbury, who once told a tale set far into the future, in which the only commodity of real value was time.  Because of overpopulation and dwindling resources throughout the world, every human being was allocated a certain amount of time at birth. 

Consequently, when the clock ran out, you died.  You could not buy more time...except from another human being, the same whose own existence would immediately be reduced; it was a wonderful but chilling tale, one which I recalled when out jogging earlier today. Before Covid-19 emerged to mercilessly blight, damage and indiscriminately destroy our respective lives, we always had the clock, but seldom the time to enjoy or experience the true beauty of life.
Present day, we have infinitively more time than ever before; incomprehensibly, there is no longer an innate distinction between retirees - and those of a much younger disposition, those who currently languish on a plague-contaminated, furlough-ridden, universal landscape. No matter how extravagant the ultimate annihilation of Coronovirus, and that of the financial, physical and mortal costs associated with the discovery of a miracle pharmaceutical compound, let this serve as a profound reminder as to how valuable life truly is, and that of the people who mean most to us.

Nothing can compensate for the depressing scarcity of things as we once knew them, it is not my desire to appear as recklessly insouciant or crassly insensitive, however, I unreservedly make no exception for one’s former employers, or that of the travail I unswervingly and patriotically undertook on their behalf over many years. There can be little uncertainty that those who claimed the largest proportion of our professional existence, would undeniably fail to attend our own funeral, leaving only the kin who we unintentionally neglected whilst subserviently addressing the needs of those wholly undeserving of our indefatigable output, and that of the relentless, myopic effort which drove it.
Hells bells, retirement does not simply rock my world, it unashamedly rules it!

In summary, a considerable length of time has passed since I last contributed to this wonderful website, I must therefore extend my apologies to Wendy, in my defence, I have been heavily involved in writing my recent book over the last year or two, that being; ‘The Lentil Tree’, now available on Amazon/KDP (just click the book above) - and that of a number of reputable book stores here in the UK, the latter of which are presently not open for business, more is the pity for lovers of good literature.

I am currently penning my next manuscript, thus entitled; ‘The Township Girl’, a vibrant and hugely descriptive document which focuses on forbidden love, due for publication, circa March 2021. My novel shall compassionately define the inhumane difficulties of a Cape-coloured ingénue who emotionally falls for a white man during the era of Apartheid in 1970s South Africa. The male character attempts to abide by the then perverted laws of a criminal regime, but soon comes to terms with the actuality that no man, no regime, will ever undermine his will to feel and experience the phenomenon of an extremely rare love - over racial division. This work is based on a real life scenario, for those who are prepared to remove the blinkers of antiquity and release the imprisoned spirit within them, revisit your youth, write that book, we each have a best-seller within us – believe!!!

Best wishes to all, stay safe do.

Gordon G. Kinghorn.

Comments for Funerals are for the Dead – Not for disillusioned Retirees!

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by: Craig/Minneapolis

What an excellent commentary! I have attempted to address the identical topic on several occasions, but nowhere as cogently.

Let's hope that certain retirees read it and do some serious reflection on their downbeat takes on their precious adventure in retirement.

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