I have a funeral to be part of Tuesday.  One of our family members passed away and now people are gathering from around the country to be part of the time.  It’s funny how life and death trumps schedules.  People too busy to see each other at any time of the year suddenly drop everything to be together for a day or two or three.  Some are driving, some are flying but all are coming a distance at great effort and great expense.

Chances are we’ll take a picture of the extended family.  Comments will be uttered like “we never know when we’ll all be together like this again”.  So, we’ll put together a line or two and get everyone into the picture.

There will be some tears.  Some of the tears will be genuine grief due to the loss.  Funny how you say you aren’t going to cry but you land up doing so anyway.  Tissues in the pocket are standard operating procedure at funerals.  But some of the tears will be saved for later.  Probably in a few days time those most dramatically impacted by the loss will look around an empty house and realize– “it’s over”.    Having pictures from the event will be nice but the mind’s memories are much more powerful and poignant.

My wife had an uncle with a twisted sense of humour.  He actually used to relish these family gatherings at a family funeral.  He was social to a fault and seeing a crowd energized him.  He loved family weddings and funerals.  His only lament was that there was one less person at a funeral.  His parting shot was always, “who’s next?”