|Day of the Dead Dolls|
As of today I will have attended three funerals in 10 months. The first, in May, was for my daughter’s friend, Will, who was a victim of the tornado. In January I attended a funeral for my 29 year-old nephew, Matthew. And today I am saying good-bye to my mother-in-law.
Funerals are, as they say, a necessary evil. No matter how you slice it, it is always difficult to say farewell to someone who left an indelible mark on your life.
Funerals are also a way to bring a community – whether it be a country, a city, or a family – together. As we reflect on the deceased’s life and the value of his or her contributions to the world he or she inhabited, we are also afforded an opportunity to mourn the loss of someone we knew and loved. In our Christian-Judaic culture, funerals provide us an acceptable time and place to shed our tears of sorrow. The ceremonies surrounding funerals bring order to an otherwise chaotic moment in time. The formal send-off also helps bring closure, and finally acceptance, to the fact that a loved one has passed on.
Families and friends come together to offer each other comfort through eulogies and embraces. Comfort food warms our hearts and our souls as we ponder the reality of death. Flowers and plants remind us of the beauty that remains in the world. And we are forced to confront the truth of our own mortality.
Do you have a "bucket list"? Have you crossed off any items on it yet?