Saturday, June 2, 2012

About Funerals

At my grandmother's funeral in 1993, my uncle gave the eulogy. He prefaced his remarks with this little lecture, aimed at certain members of the congregation:

"It has come to our attention that some of you were offended by the goings-on at the viewing last night. We make no apologies for our behavior. It was just the way Grandma would have wanted it; and if she had been alive, she would have been right there in the middle of it."

It's better if you go back and reread it in my uncle's soft Scottish brogue.

The offensive behavior he was referring to? Well, let's see. My aunts and my adult female cousins were chasing each other around the funeral home, snapping each other's bra straps. My younger, teenage cousins were in the kitchen, playing poker for Smarties (M&Ms, for the Yankees reading this). The preteen cousins were playing sardines or freeze tag or something. And the rest of us were laughing and telling stories about our time spent with Grandma.

In my religious tradition, we weep for the temporary separation from our loved ones, but we rejoice that it is only temporary, and we look forward to a happy reunion with them upon our own death, with all family relationships restored. So we wept at Grandma's funeral; but before and after the services, we enjoyed each other's company at the massive family reunion that her passing had occasioned. And like my uncle said, we had nothing to apologize for. Grandma would have loved it.

1 comment:

Becky R. said...

My Grandpa's viewing and funeral was just like that, and it was most wonderful. I think it's the way all funerals should be.