Sandwiches and Sympathy

I think one interesting thing about all the funerals I've attended during the last few years has been the fact that they always seem to turn into impromptu family reunions. When we got to my aunt's house on Friday afternoon, there were already several trays of deli meats and veggies sitting around, as well as a large amount of rolls. And the neighbors kept coming by with more food. We ate before the viewing, then came back to the house to sit around and talk, and eat.

It was fun to see everyone again, because I don't see my dad's family very often. And it's always a little strange when we do, because his brother was 23 years older than my dad. My father was the surprise caboose baby (by nearly 18 years) tagging along after his three brothers, so my cousins are all my parents' age and their kids are my age. But we all hung out and got to know each other better and it was a nice funeral. My uncle lived a full life and was a well-rounded, and well-respected man. He also was a rancher, as evidenced by the fact that instead of a hearse they used a beautiful old wagon pulled by two mules to take him to the cemetery.

Of course, after the funeral we came back to the church for more food and conversation. Only this time my aunt decided to provide the dinner herself and we had prime rib. I haven't eaten a piece of meat that big or that good for a long time. I realized as I was thinking about this post that it almost felt disrespectful to be talking about the fact that the funeral was a nice time to see people and eat good food. But I think my uncle would be pleased to know that his passing was another opportunity for all of us to get together and enjoy our relationship as family.


TK said…
Yes, I think he'd be pleased to see you having a good time, too.

The last funeral I went to was for a member of the Bishopbric that was in his 40's - he still had young children. He was a truck driver and a musician. As is typical in Hawaii, enormous amounts of food were provided for after the service (about 500 people) and the family had arranged for a local band to play Hawaiian music, as well as every other kind of music you could imagine. It was like a huge celebration - which if you think about it, isn't totally inappropriate, as our brother has returned home. I had the feeling that he was totally pleased that everyone was having such a good time and his widow and children thought so too.
Becca said…
My husband's grandfather passed away last year, and we went to the funeral. It was kind of like the one you just went to: lots of family, getting reacquainted, lots of good food, and an overall nice feeling. He had lived a full, good life, too. That probably makes it easier to not grieve so much.
Th. said…

I usually forget the fact, but in fact I quite enjoy family funerals for just those reasons.
I feel the same way.

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