(in his own words, anonymously written)
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently, I was asked by a funeral
director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had
no family nor friends, so the service was to be at a paupers’ cemetery.
This was in the hills and back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and being typical
man, didn’t stop for directions.
I finally arrived, an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently
gone. The hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only diggers and
a crew left. They were sitting under a tree eating lunch.
I felt badly and apologized for being late. I went to the side of the
grave and looked down. The vault lid was in place. I didn’t know what
else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.
I played my heart out. I gave it my best performance filled with my soul.
I’ve never played before for a homeless person, but my imagination gave
me a picture of this lost person, lonely and afraid.
As I played, “Amazing Grace,” for my final song, the workers shed a few
tears. We tend to be an emotional country, here in Scotland. Funerals are
We were all weeping together.
When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for the car.
Though my head hung down low, my heart was filled with joy.
As I opened the car door to my car, I overheard one of the older workers, who
may have been a little deaf. He was not whispering, but using a rather loud
voice. . .
“I’ve never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting septic tanks in
for twenty years.”