Thursday, February 28, 2013
I went to a few funerals earlier this month, each for someone of my parents' generation. At the second of the two, there were so many people there, in a non-denominational setting, that I had to stand along one side of the packed room, giving me an opportunity to spend time, as I waited for it to start, looking at the assembled mourners.
To say that I was among the 5 youngest non-family attenders of the hundred or so gathered was obvious. It was a very grey looking crowd (not that I'm not!). And it made me wonder...
I think part of the appeal for young women in going to weddings, besides the opportunity to dress up and to dance and drink and celebrate and be among friends, is the chance to imagine what her big day will be like - a day they spend a good portion of their young fantasy life imagining things like what color schemes they'll use, what flowers they'll carry, who'll be in it, where it'll be, who they'll invite. I'm sure I can't even make a dent in all the things they have to consider. All with the goal of making it just perfect.
So, as I looked around the room at the 70- and 80+ year olds, I found myself wondering if part of their interest in attending any given funeral was for the same reasons: to imagine what they want their service to be like - who would speak, where it would be, and ultimately wondering if people would say as nice things about them as were being said about the person they were actually there to honor.
I have to admit, I've given some thought to that last point myself. I'm sure there are enough decent things I've done that people can scrounge up a few fond memories or traits they had the chance to observe, but I also know no one would be out of line in saying a few things about what a grump I could be. I'm not proud of that part of me, but it is me and all's fair, not just in love and war, but also, I suppose, in death.
Posted by Jamie McVickar