17 January 2011

A Sad Little Club

So, yeah, funerals.

I remember my parents mentioning when I was younger that the older you get the more frequent and difficult they are.

Yesterday felt like one of those milestone moments. Sitting in a church, watching my high school bff eulogize his father and knowing that this is just the beginning. All I could think was "welcome to the club, friend. A sad, growing club."

Looking around I noticed that I am no longer the young person in the room. We are now the mourners instead of the kids who don't quite understand what's going on. We are the parents burying parents.

It was at a Catholic church so there was a lot of pomp & circumstance. I so prefer memorials or wakes to funerals. It was more about ceremony than the person who died. On the contrast, it wasn't a sob fest either.

One of the comforting things is the people who come to funerals. My parents taught me that funerals are for the living, not the dead. I was amazed with the old friends that attended my father's memorial. It is also surprising how far a person reaches. Like at my dads, my bff was constantly surprised at the stories of "I knew your dad from..."

There was a sense of resignation for me. This won't be the last funeral. I choose to concentrate on learning, if that is possible, from each experience. In this case, I need to practice the Catholic litanys.


Swistle said...

I am getting that feeling, too. When I was younger, OCCASIONALLY there was some crazy thing where someone's parent died: breast cancer, car accident. But it was WEIRD and RARE. Now, though, several friends have lost parents to totally normal old-age death stuff. And it's not like it's going to be a few and then stop: it's going to KEEP GOING until they're ALL GONE. And then it'll be something my mom said she noticed when it happened to them: WE will move into that slot of "the ones who are dying off until all of us are gone."

Good morning!

Bethany said...

I've been to lots of Catholic funerals since that is what my whole family is. Last month I attended a non-catholic service and it was actually lovely. I mean, it was sad, but it was truly all about honoring the person who had died. I preferred it.