The past couple of days with Halloween, All Saint’s Day and Day of the Dead all happening and Veteran’s Day in a little over a week, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about the topic of death. As I was out driving the other day I stopped for a red light and was met by a sight that we see on occasion and always makes me emotional, and that’s a funeral procession. This one had quite a few cops as escorts or participants, and it got me thinking once again about death and specifically about why we do things like funerals and funeral processions and graveside services.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t enjoy going to funerals or graveside services. I don’t really see a point in viewing someone in their death state or watching them be put in the ground. Do we need to see proof that they’re no longer with us? I don’t say that to sound callus or insensitive, I guess I’m just more personal and would rather say goodbye in a different way. That said I think it’s great when and important for family and friends come together to celebrate and remember someone, I’ve just always struggled with the aspect of including the person who has passed on as part of this event.
But seeing this procession the other day got me thinking about it again and for the first time I felt a bit of pride that people were stopping their day to put someone to their final earthly rest. I also had the thought that doing these activities (funerals etc.) is a sign of respect and love for the person who passed on, and a sign that they won’t be forgotten. So maybe there is some value in doing traditional funeral activities, it’s certainly something I’m going to think about the next time attending a funeral is potentially in my future.