Last week I headed north for a family funeral. The funeral was for my father’s uncle, who was quite an old man. It wasn’t terribly unexpected that he had died and he had been sick for a while.
In a way it was a good chance to get the family together. I got to meet an uncle’s new wife for the first time. I also met a cousin who lives in another country and who I haven’t seen for many years. I was living in London for a few years until 2012 so I missed a few family get-togethers.
In a way it was also a little depressing. An interesting man had died and I probably hadn’t seen him for abut 10 years. Maybe more. He had been surrounded by a vibrant community in a small town who all mourned his passing yet the death doesn’t really change my daily life in any way.
Also, it felt like the family was the most important part of the funeral and related events. We had parts to play in the funeral service. We were treated well by local people that we met.
But I felt like a bit of an imposter. I hadn’t seen my great uncle for years but because of a blood tie, I was considered more important than his friends that he saw every week.
Funerals are a useful time to reflect on life of the deceased and what they have achieved. Remember that you can’t take those achievements with you unless they are shared with others.
Funerals are also a useful time to reflect on your own life and where it is going. Are you going to be the only person at your own funeral? Might pay to work now to avoid that.