The last farewell to “Captain Missoni”
It was “a great funeral”, even though it seems impossible to say it, the ceremony that says farewell to Ottavio Missoni. This is what his friends have said, like Olmi and Mura, and his grandchildren, who talked about “Captain Missòn departing to Madagascar”.
“You don’t have to cry sad tears, because he wasn’t sad.” This are the words of the little daughter of Luca, one of the three children of Ottavio Missoni, reported in the memories that followed his funeral; it sums up with sincerity and tenderness what was the last farewell to the great artist and stylist, that took place Monday 13th May 2013 in the basilica of Gallarate.
A sincere and family farewell, even though among the participants there were Ermanno Olmi and Gianni Mura, Giorgio Forattini and Maurizio Nichetti. A farewell protected tooth and nail by the family. In fact, outside the church tens of bodyguard did not defend an exclusive event, but a funeral, whose celebration should be simple, and instead, it could have become a show, because of the curiosity of those who wanted to see “the celebrities” or of the nosiness of photographers and reporters, who wanted to “give priority to their job”.
According to family will, it was a farewell, in which it should not show through the pain and the sadness, but the memory of “a great, handsome, funny and ironic man, who has talked about death as it was an issue of others until few days ago”. This is how he was remembered.
A man who lived of colours, and who was greeted for the last time with colours. Among those, who wore black or grey in respect of the function, Missoni’s next of kin broke this scheme: his wife Rosita wore one of their red-base jackets, his granddaughter Margherita, who is going to give birth to the heir of the great and beautiful Missoni family, wore an extraordinarily bright blue shirt. And it was Margherita who told the “speech to the crew by Captain Missòn departing for Madagascar”, the last adventure her dynamic grandfather was organising. “Just to give an idea of the character” explained the psychotherapist Fulvio Scaparro, Tai’s long-time friend and drinking companion. “A few months ago he and I, together with all the friends of his, we were organising a journey by brigantine in search of the origins of this hypothetical ancestor named Captain Missoni. Considering the age and the state of health of many of the participants, we decided to call “Hospital” one of the boats, something that is a bit absurd if we think about the stories of the corsairs.”
So Ottavio’s playful spirit permeated all his funeral. There was also someone who was able to define it in the right as a “ beautiful funeral, almost a day of celebration” as the journalist and friend Gianni Mura commented from the altar, “because after it you’re given something, as our friend Olmi said before.” After all Tai, as he was called by almost all participants in the function, was the one that used to say to his friend and priest, who celebrated the funeral “ If God is really like the one described by the priests, either we’re a mistake or he wasn’t so good at drawing us.” And now that he has reached him in heaven “ we imagine him while he’s giving pieces of advice to God the Father” or “ if he really talk to God, I think that the first thing he will say will be: don’t make a mess of my markers.”
According to those who spoke during the funeral, he was a wonderful friend and an amazing grandfather, and he was also a great father, as her daughter Angela explained.
"When I was a child, I was so proud to walk around with my father but during the adolescence I was really angry with him, he was far and he was not present. And over the years, I discovered that also my brothers shared this feeling. But with time I realized that when you asked him something, he was always there. Which means that it has always used in this way to autonomy, without never forgetting us. He was a free spirit, who taught us freedom and tolerance. "
In this way, the man of the family was greeted, but the athlete too: there were also the banner of Olympians of Italy, category to which he belonged too, and the memory of his nephew Attilio which remind of the "Gran Falcata" he had when he quickened his pace. And especially the exile has been greeted: Missoni was part of those hundreds of thousands of people that after the Second World War lost its land in the international divisions, and he has never forgotten. The grandchildren have read the "prayer of the exile," meanwhile from the altar was resounding one sentence: "He was the most beautiful and intelligent cousin of all, and also did not speak so much as if death did not concern him: but if in doubt, he left me a task that I struggle to fulfil: "At my funeral, do not forget to remember our Italian Zara, and to fight for the memory of Dalmatia." I will do what I can. " As did all those, who brought the banner of the Dalmatian or Istrian exiles of Milan, as did all those who applauded his free spirit in "Va pensiero", which was heard resound in the basilica at the exit of his remains .
But no one should think that what was in the coffin, carried by his son Luca and
Missoni’s grandsons, is a life doomed to flounder in the dust: "Ottavio loved very strongly the living things, but did he not consider absolutely lost those that were no longer there”, continued Scapparo, “we met just to tell the stories of those who were there and who was not there, which was a way to keep us all together. We are a community of living and dead. And so that this community keep living, we must continue to tell stories. "