Birth and Death in the same episode.

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 ┬ápersons 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.

 

3 thoughts on “Birth and Death in the same episode.

  • September 28, 2012 at 1:20 am
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    I agree with you that funerals should have both sides to them. People differ and circumstances differ, so it’s to be expected that some people may be so devastated by the loss of a loved one that they can only smile briefly and with difficulty. Others may be able to be more positive, or more restrained most of the time.

    Even Christians, who have the promise that our personal life continues beyond bodily death, may be overwhelmed by the void in their lives for a while and only gradually be consoled by the hope of seeing their loved one again.

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  • September 28, 2012 at 8:58 am
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    I think you understand why it is that I do what I do. People often ask me how I can deal with so much death. I tell them that I work in the Life Celebration Industry. I love to hear the stories of how someone spent their time here on earth. And working in that field has taught me to live without apology and to regret nothing.

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  • September 28, 2012 at 10:33 am
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    I think you’ve got this exactly right. The “best” funerals I’ve been to were celebrations of the person’s life, mixed in with some sorrow which is perfectly normal and expected. I had to go to a cousin’s son’s funeral 2 years ago this month, a month after my father passed away. I left Jeremy’s funeral feeling inspired, and sad only that I felt like I’d only gotten to know him well because of his death.

    As for me, the same as you…I want people to be happy I was part of their lives, not sad that I’m gone. I suspect I’ll leave enough memories that the sad part will be overwhelmed…at least I hope so.
    Peace <3
    Jay

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