Really, southern funerals are about the only kind I know, but I just attended one in the "deep south" and memories came rushing back. Comfort came too. Standing room only, music by Elvis and Johnny Cash, so many hugs and memories shared.
At our age losing our family matriarchs and patriarchs is getting to be a regular event. Big families on both sides = a lot of aunts and uncles leaving the planet.
In the South the church takes care of you at times like this. God shows up in many hands and feet, feeding you and hugging you and visiting you. We've had all three just today. Since I didn't know the deceased personally (he was my husband's extended family), I was able to enjoy the day without grief.
The lunch they provided. ...oh my goodness. Diets out the window. Butterbeans, peas, corn, green beans... fresh whole food from the garden. Plus real potato salad, casseroles, and ham and fried chicken galore! Sweet tea, and, best of all, caramel cake...my mom's signature Christmas cake.
"We may not have a lot down here in the country but we are great at this. It comes from the heart", one of the hostesses says as I tried to convey how much this meant to me and the memories it brought back. She understands and we are briefly connected with this spread...it is the way I grew up and boy do I relish it.
Grandchildren and great grandchildren are playing on the swings under the tree. They don't know about loss but they are learning. Saying goodbye to Grandpa isn't easy but they do get to play with their cousins, as he would have wanted, and that is just the best. The circle of his life continues.... And, considering the other end of the spectrum, attending a funeral with a 90 year old is kind of surreal. You know what they are thinking.
I am so glad I believe in life eternal. Goodbyes are just a change in form. Not really final. So enjoy every day with ones you love and like. And see the love and devotion that shows up so big at funerals and carry it with you wherever you go. Amen!