One of Australia's most vivacious and aimiable comedians, Rolf Harris is best known for his whacky, tongue-in-cheek songs and cartoon antics.
It came as quite a shock, then, when I heard him breaking down on the radio, unable to speak for crying.
He was speaking to radio 4 about the time he met his hero, the Welsh artist Kyffin William, who recently died. Relating the story, his friend's absence seemed to become all too real for Mr Harris. He couldn't control himself and, each time he tried to speak through the knot of tears lodged in his throat, his sorrow only deepened. His tears conveyed not only a deep pain, but a very visceral realisation of the fleetingness of life. Perhaps this is what also happens at funerals: people are crying at the sudden realisation of their own fate; not only crying for the person they have lost but that which they have lost them to. And perhaps by the same token memorials also serve to reinforce our own sense of immortality.