My husband will be attending the funeral of a friend he hasn’t seen in 30 years. Sure, back before we met he shared a house with this man for about 2 years after they graduated from High School, but they haven’t kept in contact all these years. I find it odd that he feels compelled to attend his funeral and yet I shouldn’t be surprised. My husband’s family does that.
Maybe I’m the weird one. If I haven’t seen you in 20 years I’ll tell you right now, I won’t be at your funeral. Heck, make that 10 years. It’s not because you weren’t important to me when I knew you and it doesn’t mean I don’t think of you from time to time. Heck, all of us are made up of moments and memories shared with other people. But if we’ve both moved on and we didn’t feel the need to be in contact while we were both here and able to, I’m not going to reach out when you’re gone.
Perhaps it’s the difference in how we were raised. My husband was one of 9 children all brought up in the Catholic Church. I was brought up a bastard Baptist – ie., I attended church on the weekends with my aunt and lived with my non-religious parents the rest of the time. I don’t get the whole need for a huge to-do when death comes. I want to be wrapped in my favorite blanket and buried in the only green cemetery here in Washington. No coffin, no embalming, no service.
I hope upon my passing if someone misses me that instead of crying at my service they’ll turn to a loved one and tell them how much they mean to them. I’d rather they spend a glorious day in the sunshine thinking about how wonderful it is to be alive than sitting in a church wondering how long they have to stay before they can make a graceful exit. And I hope they’ll think of me and smile. That to me is the greatest gift I can leave behind.
So don’t have a funeral for me and I guess if I’m going to ask people to do it my way when it’s my time, I’ll have to adjust and allow them to do it their way when it’s theirs. And that will include not questioning the need for my husband to reach out after all these years. It’s his thing and I’ll honor it. But I still don’t get it.
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