Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Wonderous Stories

Monday was my friend Nick's funeral, postponed for a month due to bad weather on the original date. I'll admit I relished the opportunity for a legitimate trip somewhere different: a ride through beautiful Epping Forest to a woodland burial ground.

Few people could attend in person, for obvious reasons, but many, many more watched the livestream of the service. There was one other furry, otherwise the attendees were all from Nick's family. They knew about his more bohemian side of art and roleplaying, and enjoyed our tales of how loved and respected our Ultrafox was in the fandom as much as we enjoyed hearing about his childhood.

When I picture Nick it's often wearing his Yes T-shirt, and we heard 'Wonderous Stories' during the service (as well as 'The Spirit of Radio' by Rush). The song was new to me, but felt very right:

He was laid to rest beside his mum. The grounds are very close to North Weald airfield (where I once took Nick on the back of my scooter to look round the small RAF museum), and light aircraft passed over frequently.

I stayed to consume my packed lunch on one of the benches, after jokes with the family about Nick's great love of food and how he would have approved. Everything there is natural - the grave markers, even the flower vases are wood - so it will return to the ground. There are squirrels, deer, and, I am assured, foxes.

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That sounds like a very good funeral, one that feels right, not just for the attendees but also for the person who passed on. I'm glad you had this opportunity to say your last goodbyes to Ultrafox, too.

I probably mentioned this before, but I met him a few times at CFz; I remember how you introduced us to each other, too. We were never in touch outside of the con, but he struck me as a great person all around: cheerful, enthusiastic, loving what he did and doing what he loved, helpful and friendly. Yes, great all around indeed. I still have this mental image of him smiling as the three of us chatted.

It's very nice that the funeral had both non-furry family and furries attend, too, I think, and equally nice that everyone accepted this side of him. (On a side note this is something I like about Britons, in general: you seem much more accepting of others' little quirks and eccentricities than people here are.)

The Yes song is very nice, too, and very fitting. Even without having really known Ultrafox, it feels like the kind of music that would be enjoyed by someone like him, with his interests, and his personality. (I'll take this as a cue to listen to some more Yes again as well, I've not done so in too long.)
I am very sorry for your loss. It sounds like a beautiful place and a beautiful service. Peace to his memory.
Thank you. When things are more normal, some of us plan to head over there and then to a nearby pub to share memories.
I've always claimed not to like prog rock (unless you count Pink Floyd) but I might give Yes a try too! And Howard is into Rush, so maybe he can give me some pointers.

Now you mention it, I do remember introducing you to Ultra! I thought you'd get on as you were both a) MLP fans and b) lovely people. And what you say is something I heard over and over again when the news of his death came out: "I didn't know him well but we had such a great chat over a drink." He was so warm and welcoming.

Nick's brother let it be known before the funeral that if anyone wanted to dress up, that would be fine, but I'm not a fursuiter and I was going on the bike. (Showing up in bike gear felt fine, too; Ultra wouldn't have cared how I was dressed.)
That's sad news. (Somehow I missed your earlier post.) Ultra was always one of the steadier influences at the early LF meets.

As funerals go, that sounds like a good one, though.
It was - it's such a shame more of us couldn't be there, though. Planning a memorial trip when such things are possible.

Everyone in UK furry knew Ultra, it seems, and nobody had a bad word to say about him.