Sometimes a thought comes to my mind (and it gets lonesome fast!) and I think, "I should write a few words about this topic."
There are funerals that are more like celebrations of lives well-lived, and there are times when the recently-departed has suffered so greatly that the call home seems like a relief for them.
And then there are those for young people taken away in the very early spring of their lives. When a child dies from accidental injury or some damned disease, their family and friends are left stunned by it all. And we try to console ourselves with thinking that Heaven knows what's best.
And sometimes, there are just no words.
If you're like me, you probably have periods in your life when it seems that you lose friends or acquaintances two or three per month, and it's like when you're in the ocean and get knocked down by one wave, only to get tossed around by another before you even catch your breath. Yes, life is like that.
Going to funerals and viewings and wakes is no one's idea of a good time. But let me tell you something, please...
I think of a friend I knew once whose friend's mom passed away, and she said, "Oh I don't know if I'll go to the viewing...I'd have to go right after work, and I need to stop at Rite-Aid, and I didn't know her mom all that well, and who cares if I go?"
In one of my rare moments of sagacity and taciturnity (wisdom and keeping the piehole shut) I simply said,"You should go."
And the next day she reported that she was glad she took my advice, and that she learned what we all do sometime...funerals and gatherings associated with them are for the living.
I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciated each and every face that came to me and Peggy and the rest of us when my Dad died in '97, and when Mom left in '14. I will always believe that the emotional support we got at Mom's service is what helped me and Peggy deal with Deanna's sudden departure two weeks later.
People go out of their way for others at the best and worst of times. Speaking of sagacious people, Yogi Berra had a lot of truth in his statement that you should always go to other people's funerals, or they won't come to yours.