I made a snap decision to attend a funeral yesterday for the brother-in-law of a friend and co-worker. I knew the guy from many years back when we worked for the same company but I felt that my friend needed (& deserved) my support and condolences. I had brought my suit & tie just in case and, on my way into work, I decided to attend the service (only one from our company). Since the funeral was located in a town 1.5 hours away and started at 1100, I pretty much figured it would eat most of my day and I just tossed a vacation request with my boss and took the whole day. Was not looking to come back to work after the service since it would be 1.5 hours back to the office and a good 50 minute commute going home. I basically had about 1-2 hours in the office before I bailed. The adventure comes from trying to drive across three counties to get to the church on time. Since I was not in my suit at the outset, at every stop light I was changing my clothes. Haven't done that in years (nice to know I still have that skill set). Apologies to the lady at the light in Angleton for the shirtless display. I was able to make it to the church with 10 minutes to spare and did not break any traffic laws. After the service and burial, I headed back home to take care of a few overdue chores like picking up dog food, rotate tires, settling a traffic ticket, cleaning the oven, etc. (things I would have had to take time out during the week to get done).
It was a Catholic service (haven't been to one of those in years) and very interesting. I have been to too many funerals in my years and this was one of the more regimented versions. Too much protocol and formality for my taste. Many people take comfort in this kind of service but IMHO, the best memorial service that I ever attended to was for a friend who was killed in an accident. It was a Baptist service but very open and inspirational. He was a regular card in his life and his church and they had a very contemporary service with his favorite pictures/jokes (Farside cartoons). It was a very open and uplifting service with lots of good memories and humor. I decided that, when I go, that was the kind of service I would like to have. Life's too short to sit and bemoan the loss. Instead of feeling sorry and regret, I feel we should celebrate life to the fullest. When I go, I want a party/wake. I would prefer people to remember the funny stuff. I kinda get morbid like that when attending funerals. Ever pondered how you would like to be remembered?