A funeral that came decades too soon
IT was, as it should have been, a solemn and dignified occasion. One which put into context the minor trials and tribulations of everyday life. For this was a funeral for a young man, one which came many decades too soon.
Guardsman Karl Whittle was just 22 and had every right to expect to live a long and fulfilling life.
He had been sent to Afghanistan to help preserve its fragile peace and in doing so to make the world a safer place.
For that cause he gave his life. And yesterday under September skies his family, friends and comrades gathered to honour him and to bid him farewell.
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In time the memories they have of him will help sustain them. For now though there are no words of comfort. Their loss is too painful to be absolved.
He was a brave soldier but more importantly to those close to him he was a fiance, a dad, a son, a friend and a colleague.
One day maybe they will be able to think of Karl without their eyes brimming with tears.
And perhaps when that day comes they will draw some solace from the fact that Karl died a hero.
It has been a word which has been perhaps used too regularly this summer.
But in Karl's case it is a word that is truly appropriate.