I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that.
“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it
In going to funerals, I’ve come to believe that while I wait to make a grand heroic gesture, I should just stick to the small inconveniences that let me share in life’s inevitable, occasional calamity.
On a cold April night three years ago, my father died a quiet death from cancer. His funeral was on a Wednesday, middle of the workweek. I had been numb for days when, for some reason, during the funeral, I turned and looked back at the folks in the church. The memory of it still takes my breath away. The most human, powerful and humbling thing I’ve ever seen was a church at 3:00 on a Wednesday full of inconvenienced people who believe in going to the funeral.
These words are taken from a short essay by Deirdre Sullivan. It’s well worth reading.
If you’re a celebrant, you might consider commending your congregations for having made the effort to come (something I signally failed to do at the funeral I led on Friday.)