Delighting at Funerals

I may not do death well, but I can’t help but find delight in funerals.

I know it sounds strange if not cold or even cruel. Why would I delight over such a somber event when people are grieving and taking a final moment to say goodbye to a loved one?

As with my previous entry, it’ll all make sense by the end.

Let’s start with my Mamaw’s funeral (my grandmother on my mother’s side).

She loved animals. I didn’t know how much until we went out to eat for Thanksgiving. We passed a park with hundreds of Canada geese loitering in the grass. She nearly squealed and said, “Look at all those geese! I love geese!”

I smiled to myself at her joy, but also at my mom’s annoyance. She hated geese, because their house was in their twice-annual migration path and as such had to wade through a lot of goose poop every spring and fall.

Mamaw died less than a month later.

At her internment in a veteran’s cemetery where she was laid to rest with her first husband, there was a small park behind us with a pond. Neither my husband nor I could hear the pastor, because the geese behind us were squawking so loud. I hid my laughter in my husband’s shoulder and told him later, “I couldn’t think of a more perfect eulogy than that.” He said that he hid his own laughter thinking the same thing.

I believe Mamaw would have laughed right with us.

A few days ago was the funeral for my friend who lost her husband last week. I was pleased to see the parking lot and nearby street so full with friends and family. It gave me a clue as to how many people loved him. For me, I had only met him once, so I knew next to nothing about him other than he adored his wife, and she him.

So during the time when people could stand up and tell their favorite stories about him, I got to peek into the love and intimacy of his friend and family relationships. I found it both an honor and a privilege to witness it.

It was, in a word, delightful.

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