As a bagpiper, I play many gigs.
Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service of a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived, but an hour late. I saw the funeral guy had evidently left, and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.
I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. Not knowing what else to do, I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around.
I poured my heart and soul into the tribute for this man with no family or friends, and I played like I’d never played before!
As I started played “Amazing Grace,” the workers began to weep. We all wept together.
When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Although my head was hung low, my heart was full.
As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”