I have to go to a funeral today. I really don't like funerals. First I'm creeped out, then I'm sad. I spend a lot of time trying to deflect with humor, which people misinterpret as me being insensitive. *sigh*
Usually, I don't attend funerals. I feel like a wake is there for people to pay respects to those left behind, while a funeral is for saying goodbye to the deceased. Since I've only known a few people who have died, I've been to far more wakes than funerals.
Sometimes, I even phone-it-in for wakes. By phone-it-in, I mean my dad goes and extends sympathy from "the family." It's one of the perks of being the only child to a divorced dad who never remarried. When he says "we," that automatically includes me.
But this funeral is for someone special. One of the closest people to me that I've ever lost. So I can't phone this one in.
Life is like that, I suppose. And I think attending funerals can be a good thing. It reminds you that life is a gift, and so is your health. You should appreciate and protect both with everything you've got.
It forces you to put differences aside, out of respect for those grieving. Sometimes, once you put them aside, you realize how silly they were. So a funeral can acutally be healing, too.
It allows you to make your peace with someone who meant a lot to you, and from whom you learned a lot - about family, about love and about strength.
It brings you close to the people who mean the most. Even if they don't feel the same, or are too hurt to show it, you know you're close - and that's what matters.Those people are also a gift you should appreciate and protect, because you never know how long you have to spend with them.
Most of all, it gives you the chance to say goodbye, and share memories - and make them secure in your heart.