Historically, I don’t attend funerals. It’s not because I’m without compassion for those who have suffered a loss; far from it. But I believe that grief is a very personal thing. I don’t believe that I should have to be on display when I’m grieving, and I don’t like watching others have to display their grief to satisfy the opinions of others. I actually had a cousin of mine (a clergyman, mind you) tell me that I didn’t love my father because I didn’t display enough grief to satisfy this cousin at my father’s funeral! I reminded him that how I choose to grieve, publically and privately, for my father is my business and is not the business of or open for comment by anyone else. This is one of the reasons that my will prohibits having a funeral service of any kind when it’s my time to go. I want people who choose to grieve for me to do so privately. But I’d never push my opinions on others regarding funerals. Some people need the service to say goodbye, and some families need to be surrounded by loved ones while they’re grieving. I respect this, and all I ask is that they respect my desire to grieve privately.
In the last month, I have attended more funerals than I have in the last three decades. And while the services were beautiful, the last one will, unfortunately, be remembered more for the aftermath than for the beauty of the occasion. Every member of my household got terribly sick (two colds, one flu, and one sinus infection). Two weeks later and we’re only just now finally getting over it all. I find this interesting because the same thing happened at the last funeral I attended (which was also in Texas, but was more than 20 years ago). I’m detecting a pattern. I think I’ll avoid attending any more funerals for quite a while.