17 February 2010

On The Topic Of Funerals

So here's a Blogstream-worthy post...

My husband's aunt passed away this last week. She had cancer, so it wasn't a terrible surprise (not that it still isn't sad though...). The out-of-state funeral was Saturday and we were unable to attend due to previously made plans. However, when Brent saw his mom on Monday night, she filled him in on the details.

My mother-in-law's most pressing concern for her brother and her deceased sister-in-law? Their "lack of faith"...specifically their lack of a church. The seemingly most important fallout from this was the attendance of about 25 close friends/family. The general feeling from my mother-in-law and later my husband was that it was "sad" that so few showed up.

To me, the most saddest piece of information was not the "poor" attendance but the fact that Brent's aunt had been estranged from her mother for nearly twenty years. The aunt had specifically requested her husband NOT to inform the mother when she (the aunt) passed away. Now, that is sad.

So, this all launches into the ginormous debate about our own funerals. This story reinforces Brent's belief of the importance of joining a church - to have a network of close friends who will come to your funeral when you die. He wants to have a huge funeral, so he knows he was loved and respected. That was his wording.

I'm sure you see the problem here?

He'll be dead. He won't know who or how many respect and love him anyway.

Well, I got into trouble when I told him this. I guess I wasn't being understanding enough, etc. etc. etc.

Frankly, I'm OK with 25 people at my death party...if they are 25 of the most caring, loving, and important people in my life. I'd rather have that than 100 so-so friends/acquaintences. And I certainly don't need a church to usher me into the afterlife (or whatever lies beyond).

But, that's just me. To be honest, I'd like to have the kind of funeral that Rucker Blakeslee had in the book "Cold Sassy Tree"...a big party in which there is dancing and tons of food. Nobody can wear black (specified in Rucker's will), nor can anyone be sad or crying. The funeral-goers, however, CAN tell funny or memorable stories about the guy.

That sounds pretty good to me.

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