I had to go to a funeral today and although it wasn’t my first I still don’t ever really know what to do with myself at these things.
The whole situation started me thinking about my own death and my own funeral. Lets not be fanciful here. Sooner or later I am going to die.
I have to admit that I have always found mourning a little bit selfish. Of course not everybody grieves in the same way, but the kind of mourning I am talking about are the public displays that we get at funerals and other memorial services. Mourning to me always seems to be about saying “look at me, look how sad I am, look how your death has effected me, look how much I am crying”. Instead of celebrating life. The funerals I have attended have all been about “our loss”.
Of course there is grief, sadness, and a sense of loss. And all of this has value, it’s a time of pain.
I guess when our loved ones die, we become very introspective. We look within because it effects us in an intimately personal way. We must examine our own fear, our own loneliness and our own mortality.
But what about “the deceased persons amazing life”?
I want my funeral to be a celebration of life. No black suits, no somber religious dogma, no stifled laughter and guilty smiles. I want my funeral to be an affirmation of life.
If a loved one close to me passed, which they have in the past and will again in the future, I would want to speak about the amazing things they have done. I would want to tell stories and laugh. I would want to remember and celebrate them. Yes I’ll wail and cry too, but I hope they will be tears of joy.