Posts Tagged ‘NPR’


Always Go to the Funeral : NPR.

Growing up in the South and attending a small country church, I went to my fair share of receiving friends and attending funerals. They typically had the same format, with singing, preaching, a march (occasional drive) to the graveyard for a graveside service, and then that’s it. I’ve never experience any big fight at a funeral between families, though I have seen my share of people overcome by their grief. It;s sorta awkward, but you ignore it. Their hurting. In pain. It’s human. You stand silently in respect as they finish. You honor them.

And yet you understand that in some small way, you are fulfilling a duty. A duty to honor those who have lost someone, and to in some way honor the one who is gone. But it’s more. You honor your community by showing that in the greatest need of a few, the majority comes through. Death brings us all on the same playing field. No one is exempt. And as such, it makes going to the funeral that much more important. It solidifies what may have been unspoken all along: I know you, I care for you, and I’m sorry that you have went through this loss.

Going to the funeral is not so much about you fulfilling your duty as much as it is about you representing the community to the ones who need it most.

As Sullivan notes in the article,

“Always go to the funeral” means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The Shiva call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.”

It’s a good word and makes sense of something which people feel, even if they’re not the ones exceptionally close to the family.

Go to the funeral. Show honor to the community. Support the family. Be involved in the body of humanity.


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