The Ceremony of Death
My thoughts and feelings about the ceremony, or lack thereof, for the final farewell of the flesh and blood body have long been in a state of flux.
As a youngster, I simply accepted the rituals of the final viewing, the funeral service, and the long, slow ride to the cemetery. Afterwards, family and friends gathered somewhere to share memories of the deceased and take those first steps to moving forward after the loss of a loved one.
Through the years I began to view so much of those rituals as trivial, helping little to assuage the feelings of loss in the living and doing nothing whatsoever for the departed.
My father had remarked through the years that when his time of departure came, he truly didn't want a funeral. His reasoning was that he had no wish to be on display for those who barely interacted with him while he was alive. At first I was aghast at his reasoning, then later began to embrace his thinking.
It was only when I reached my fourth decade, and my father his sixth, that I realized that the ceremonies after someone's death are really for the living. Dad and I had a number of conversations on the topic. After some time, he relented and agreed that a private service including only those in the immediate family could be held when his time of passing came.
I remember what a relief it felt to me to carry out his wishes when he died some seven years ago. I wish I could report that my thoughts about this final life/death event were then solidified, but I am yet trying to find the answer that works best for me.
Do you have any thoughts about funerals/services/ceremonies for the recently departed? Do time-honored traditions rest well with you or do you have other thoughts?
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/cemetery-mourning-death-faith-79177/ by brainman