I like to go to funerals. Today we went to the funeral of a friend and the church was overflowing with people there to honor this man. Each funeral or memorial service is different yet they each reflect the life and beliefs of the person who made their transition. Some are more religious and ritualistic and there is a beauty in that kind of service. Others are more informal and possibly more personal and those are beautiful also.
I remember when my parents died and with each one I remember being so grateful that people took time out of their daily lives to come and honor our family. My mother always said that it doesn't matter what you say to the family when someone passes, it is just important that you are there. I think it is so important just to let the family know that the person mattered to you.
I like funerals where you learn more about the person and how their life impacted those in their family and community. Today they said the man showed his chiildren how to live and taught them how to die. I have always felt you deal with the person's death by how they live and if they lived a full and good life then it is easier to let them go. Surely this man made his passing easier because of his good life.
As I looked around the church today filled with grey-haired and aging friends I wondered which one of us will be next to go. Who will we be paying tribute to next and how does that family learn to accept the grief and loss. Hopefully we will all band together and make the loss easier to bear because we care. I think these passages of life are beautiful expressions of the humanity in all of us.