I just returned from the funeral of a relative in Florida and while I sat there during the funeral service, reality set in. You might ask how come it's just now setting in so let me correct myself by saying...reality set further in.
As we continue to age, we middle-agers are now experiencing the reality of our parents and other older relatives becoming sick or disabled and the entire process that comes along with that, until the day they pass. Then there's the preparation for the viewing, the funeral and the repast.
When I was a young girl, a funeral was an entirely sad occasion. Today it's more of a celebration of the life of the deceased. People are now beginning to say that their loved one would have wanted a celebration...not an entire two days of constant mourning and sadness.
Families go all out at these celebrations these days. Good food, music,a meet-and-greet for those who haven't seen each other for ages (yes--sometimes several years!)...an unplanned family reunion for sure.
That is what this one I attended turned out to be and it was great! We ended up spending the entire day together for a funeral that started at 10:00am. E-mail addresses and phone numbers were exchanged. iPhones and iPads were pulled out to show pictures to bring each other up to date. Singing, dancing, picture-taking, reminiscing on the life of the deceased...just a wonderful celebration overall.
I much rather the occasion being called a "celebration" and certainly not a "funeral" because after all, everyone was gathered to celebrate the life of the deceased...not the passing.