Musings About Funerals

Musings About Funerals

A Story by ReadsAtDances

I have been to countless funerals of people I have never met. (And not because I'm creepy) ((Nonfiction))

Like the description said, I have been to countless funerals of people that I have never met, and not because I'm creepy. I'm am an altar server at my church, so I come to funerals to help with the mass.
I don't know how many funerals you have attended, but reflecting back on my experiences, I realize that they were all nearly the same (With of course a few interesting exceptions, but we will get to those later). Excepting those few strange funerals, however, the similarity of the rest is striking, and they all blend together in my mind. I don't know whether I should find this fact comforting or saddening. 
Like I promised in the above paragraph, I have had a few strange funeral experiences, or at least strange for my small Iowa city. The one and only funeral that I attended that was in Spanish was one of those strange experiences. While the fact that the mass would be said in Spanish was highly unusual to me, it wasn't the strangest thing about it. As I was walking around the pews of the church to reach the front to light the candles, I walked past a woman sitting quietly on a windowsill, playing with a cat. Inside the church. I kept walking, and no one seemed to mind the cat. I think it stayed for the whole funeral. Who knows, maybe cats need to mourn too.
Weirdly enough, in the church I attend, there are people who seem to attend each and every funeral. I though it was strange at first, but now I see how kind their actions were, both to the person who had died, and the mourning family. These people would also help with the mass, usually by reading the psalm or readings. That's what happened during this next funeral. One of the funeral regulars had gone up to the ambo (the podium thing) for the first reading. They were about to start reading when one of the deceased person's family members shouted "Stop!" from her seat in the first pew. What followed was a supremely awkward time when the funeral regular walked to their seat and the family member (who was originally supposed to read) walked up to the ambo. I internally cringe just thinking about. Do not fear, though, the right person did the reading in the end.
I said before that all of the funerals I have attended blend together, but that is not strictly true. There are two funerals that stick out firmly in my mind, and I doubt they will ever leave. They were both for someone that I knew. 
One for my grandmother. One for my dog.
As you probably know, since nearly everyone has experienced loss, they both were really, really hard.
And to completely correct, my dog's "funeral" was just a burial. But it sure felt like a funeral.
A strange pattern has emerged from these funerals, though. After my grandmother's funeral, a great family friend approached me and gave me a statue of an angel. It was a very kind gesture and I am thankful for it.
After my dog's burial, my kind aunt approached me and gave me yet another stature, this time in the shape of a dog that looked like the one we had just lost. Once again, I was a very kind gesture and I am thankful.
The coincidence was too much for me to ignore. Two funerals. Two statues. Why? Why statues? And now I have a theory. 
Funerals are celebrations of the finiteness of our life here. They remind us at every second that one day our lives will end, and transform into something new. "There is a time for everything..." a popular funeral reading tells us. In the giving of statues, I think we are trying to combat that finiteness with something that is permanent, something that will last longer than us.
This is part of the reason why I see irony in the other common funeral gift. Flowers. Things that are guaranteed to fade away and die, just like the person whose casket they decorate. But they were beautiful while they were alive, right?

Just some musings about funerals.

© 2015 ReadsAtDances

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Author's Note

Not really a story, more like some stuff I needed to think about. Reviews and thoughts of your own would be greatly appreciated.

My Review

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Great stuff! Really inducts a question into one's mind, as to what the purpose of a funeral is, and "livens" the topic of boring and "lifeless" funerals! *Excuse the puns I can't help them*

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

Oh my. Those puns certainly put the "fun" in funeral. Thanks for the review and the laugh!
Funerals are definitely something of a mystery. Who first had the idea to hold a funeral? And how have they evolved? There are so many different forms of honoring/celebrating the dead throughout the world. If death wasn't such a mystery, funerals might be more uniform with different cultures. They could be all celebrating the same fate or afterlife or whatever.

Posted 3 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on November 29, 2015
Last Updated on November 29, 2015



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