Funerals certainly get you thinking

Just got back from a funeral ... they make ya ponder life, death and everything in between don't they. This funeral was for a friends' mother whom I didn't know at all; to be honest I'm not really that close to the colleague after she moved to Dunedin to start a new life.

But, I thought I'd go. And I'm glad I did go.
This isn't about that particular funeral though as it's not my story to tell.

Some of those "problems", those "hardships", those "issues" I thought I have in my life ... aren't. Life is such a fleeting thing and over for so long. I know, I know, it's all obvious and we all know it and it's even a tad sugary to say it. But I wasn't thinking it yesterday before the funeral and now it's become ... more ... no, I've become a little more prioritised in my life. I've managed stand back and see the big stuff. And for that I thank Christine.

As for the actual ritual of a "funeral", well I had a wee think about that on the way back to work. Like most rituals - I'm very big on acknowledging and celebrating rituals, whatever the size - they glue us together as societies and point out where we are in the world like little 'life sign-posts'. Anyway, like most rituals, funerals (and any other cultural equivalent) come with a very definite framework that enable those that need to 'rest' their emotions on them.

The only issue (a small one though) is how the Western funeral ritual does seem to involve a lot of "damping down of feelings" - not totally. But out-and-out weeping and nashing of teeth would be frowned upon. Why?

And I leave you with a Joyce Grenfell poem read out this afternoon:
If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well.


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