As a bagpiper, I was asked by a funeral director to play
at a graveside service for a homeless man who had no
family or friends.
The funeral was to be held at a cemetery in the remote
countryside and this man would be the first to be laid to
As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I
became lost and being a typical man, did not stop
for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the
backhoe and the crew who were eating lunch but the
hearse was nowhere in sight.
I apologized to the workers for my tardiness and stepped
to the side of the open grave where I saw the vault lid
already in place. I assured the workers I would not hold
them up for long but this was the proper thing to do.
The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch.
I played out my heart and soul.
As I played the workers began to weep. I played and
I played like I'd never played before, from 'Going
Home' and 'The Lord is My Shepherd' to 'Flowers of
the Forest.' I closed the lengthy session with
'Amazing Grace' and walked to my car.
As I was opening the door and taking off my coat,
I overheard one of the workers saying to another,
"Man, I never seen nothin' like that before and I've
been putting in septic tanks for 20 years."