Sunday, March 15, 2015

When You Think About It: Funerals Ain't So Bad.

Words and Photo by F LoBuono
This may sound a bit strange, but I kind of like going to funerals. At first, this might sound shocking and morbid. I mean who "enjoys" a funeral. But, I really do, and for many reasons. They are absolutely charged with emotion. A good funeral should not only make you cry, but laugh, as well. It should be an accurate reflection of a person's life and that includes not only sorrow, but joy. If you've ever been to the funeral of a black person, you would see exactly what I mean. There is sadness for the loss of a loved one. But, there is also laughter and singing, too. Man, is there singing. It truly becomes a celebration of our time here - as it should be. Death is inseparable from life and we need not be afraid. It should be seen as a privilege to be there, not a chore. Funerals should reinforce that conviction.

Even a staid, sad funeral reveals that death is just a part of life, and that life continues. That notion was apparent, again, at a funeral I attended just recently. My neighbor's father had passed and, even though I did not know the man, as I gesture of love and respect, I attended the funeral. My friends have a beautiful baby girl who's about fifteen months old now. Of course, as part of the family, she came with her folks to the church. About ten minutes or so into the service, she started getting antsy and making the charming noises that infants do when they first discover that they can actually make almost intelligible sounds. This lasted a few minutes until mom felt it distracting enough to spirit her away to the vestibule. After she left, another infant in the church started the same thing. This time, dad did the honors.

It was all so, well, charming. Here we all sat in somber reflection at the passing of another human being. And, yet, at the same time, we were so warmly reminded by the sweet sounds of innocent children that life does, indeed, continue. So, yes, I cried. But, I smiled, too. Ain't that just like life?

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