My ex-father-in-law died last week, and I just went to his memorial service. If this seems a bit odd, let’s just say that I admired and liked him, and I had a bit of mourning to do. The service was the usual sort, with a minister who never knew him, and talked about how he was happy in a better land. Oh come on! No matter what your religious beliefs, do you think that someone who just lost everyone and everything isn’t going to be doing some mourning himself? There were some touching stories, including a tribute from Diana, and those helped. Then we all went and had some food and talked.

The whole thing was actually good, if exhausting. I remember having the same feeling after my father’s funeral, and started wondering why. It’s pretty obvious that others feel the say way, since we keep having funerals. It’s not, as some young people like to say, a morbid exercise in grief. It gives us the chance to realize that the person is actually gone, no matter how much we want to deny it. It lets us say all of those things we wanted to say when he was alive, and have someone hear them, even if he can’t. Mostly, it lets us put our relationship with the person in perspective, as something that had a start, and now has ended. We can let go, grieve, and go on with life. As at no other time, we can let go of all of the bad times and other cruft that may have covered our love, and realize that all the love that was ever there has never gone away. When all is done, nothing else matters.

The meeting over food afterward is important too. Often, our connections with others are through another individual. If the connection was through the deceased, the wake afterwards lets us connect directly and hold the community together despite the loss.

Maybe this is blazingly obvious to most people, and I’m the only one who had to figure it out, but I hadn’t put it together before.


1 comment to Funerals

  • Diana

    This message about Dad and the funeral meant so much to me. Also a help in taking another perspective on the loss.
    Thank you!

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