So I’ve got yet another funeral to go to. As I said before it’s one of my aunts. She was headed out the door so it wasn’t that much of a surprise really.
My family seems to have a bad track record of behavior when someone dies. I’m not going to go into it but there are several things people should never do at funerals.
1) Magpie. Taking things right after the person dies. I’ve only done it once and it was something I wanted to preserve from harm that would mean nothing to anyone else in the family. Even then I paid the price for it.
2) Talking about who gets what. There’s time enough after the person is in the ground or turned to ash to work out who gets what. No excuses. We’re all guilty of it but in reality it should not even enter our minds until all funeral arrangements are _completed_.
3) Holding a grudge with the dead. I bear no ill will to anyone dead. It’s the living people that piss me off.
4) Second guessing the best wishes of the departed. Unless the act can not be physically completed there is no excuse for changing the plans. None. And I am of the opinion that the final wishes of the dead should be respected even if they constitute and illegal act. (Within reason of course. There are some things that should never be done in the name of the dead. And some that should. The trick is knowing the difference.) Sometimes there’s conflicts between one last wish and another. In my opinion it’s first-come first-serve. Respect the previous wish first then the second wish if possible.
Most of anything else is personal judgement. Something that is sorely lacking these days in any good capacity. Actually now that I think of it that’s not true. There’s a _lot_ of personal judgement just not very much thinking behind it.
Truth be told I hate these affairs with a passion. I think it’s a lighter variation of a problem a friend of mine has in that he won’t look into the casket because he doesn’t want that to be his last memory of the person. But that’s not all of it. I think it’s just the fact that I just kind of want to remember the person and let it pass by if I can and the whole ceremony involving a dead body affixes the event in my mind and adds more energy to it than is needed.
I think the people that have the right idea, unless the person has done something to be seriously honored, are the ones that act as if the person has just stepped out and will be back any moment. They’ve taken a trip and won’t be back right away. That seems to me to be the right way to think about it.
For instance I don’t go to my cousin’s grave to talk to her body. I go to her grave because it’s a communication portal to wherever she is and that allows me to give her updates on the family and life in general. The fact that her body is there is immaterial.
What? You think your lines of communication go away after you die? ‘Fraid not. We’re all connected body or not. And just because you can’t hear that person without a body talking to you doesn’t mean that they aren’t.
And body or no we’ve all got an awful lot to say...