Very special men
THE lasting effect that some people leave on life after they are gone can be significant and last week two of the best were buried.
On Tuesday, Nonny MacInnes was laid to rest in Oban and on Thursday Bernie Smith was given a fitting sendoff on Tiree. Never have I attended such large funerals in their respective locations and never have I been aware of such positive feelings expressed so widely as for these two giants of the West Coast.
Both fought bravely with terminal illness and both passed away with the dignity and positivity that reflected their approach to the lives they led.
There are so many common cliches used to praise those who die and, in many ways, that is a strong part of the grieving process, but these two men really were exceptional human beings who are absolutely worthy of the huge amount of praise and loving thoughts and comments that have been shared over the past week.
None of us knows how long we have left in this life and in the grand scheme of existence, when we go, I don’t think is particularly relevant.
What is important is the impact we have when we are alive and the peace and happiness we can feel before we travel on.
To be loved by those we want to be loved by, to be respected by those we want to be respected by and to have led a life that can be looked back on with joy and satisfaction – these are the dreams of life for which we all should strive, and both Bernie and Nonny epitomised those who totally conquered these great and rich achievements.
The following lyrics are from one of the older Skipinnish songs and as both Nonny and Bernie were musicians and generous supporters of music, the theme is fitting.
Many a late night of music, good company and fellowship so many of us had with these two very special men, and the memories of their warmth and great characters will, like love and music, live for ever. Farewell We now must say farewell, but with warmth I will tell Our meeting will stay with us till the end; So fill the parting glass, this song must be our last, In the glowing hope we’ll someday meet again. Chorus We sat that night till the morning singing ‘Mairidh gaol is ceòl.’ If love and music live we may never die at all. Many winters have passed on since those summer nights have gone But our lives are richer for the time we’ve had; And in the evening of our days, though our time was soon away, We’ll recall those olden glories and be glad. Our destinies divide and, therefore, live we all All live to die, and rise to fall; No sadness now or blame but a memory and a flame To burn beyond the passing of us all.