If you cannot relate to this post you can blame my Facebook friends Lois and Brenda who gently pushed me into writing it. There is some possibility they too had a spirit pushing them. I have always said our creator is the biggest people user there ever was.
I believe another word for funeral is respect. It is a formal effort of those left behind to acknowledge the human existence of a soul.
I was about 20 when I attended my first funeral. I clearly remember my mother walking behind me as I approached the casket containing the remains of my paternal grandmother. My mother whispered, "You don't have to look." I did anyway and barely recognized the body I saw. That experience followed me for years and caused major problems dealing with death, until I realized the person I knew no longer existed.
Forty years later my mother died following a brief bout with cancer. It was her wish to be cremated and she chose not to have a service of any kind. I respected her wishes. She had been in a coma and I never had a chance to properly say goodbye to her. My daughter was 10 at the time and I still remember her reaction. She observed, "One day she was here and the next she wasn't."
A couple of days ago I learned of the death of a local man who had been in ill health for several years. I knew him because he and I had been fellow crafters, sharing our gifts at local craft shows. Bob was a very talented woodsman who created, among other things, beautiful religious articles such as crosses. I also know his widow as she was one of my Avon customers in my former life as an Independent Avon Representative.
Bob's funeral was this morning and I am very happy I took the time to attend. It was a celebration of life and not a sad affair like some funerals I have gone to. After the family was seated the fire alarm went off causing the crowd some momentary discomfort. The minister chimed in, "Bob never did do anything like anyone else!" That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the service.
One of the interesting things that was revealed was that Bob had written his own obituary. Right on Bob! I have been trying to convince people for years to do just that. Why would anyone want someone else telling the world who they were and what was important to them while they were here?
I chose not to go to the cemetery. Instead I will go later in the day to say a private goodbye to a very nice man that I am happy to have known.
Whether or not there is a formal funeral service I believe it is wise to spend a few moments just remembering the souls that are no longer here and thanking them for what they brought to our life. It is the respectful thing to do.