I remember when I was a little kid I always found funerals to be extremely depressing. As I grew older, my idea of funerals did not change any. One day I heard a man talking say something about how funerals are a celebration of one’s life. This really took me by surprise. I wanted to go up to him and say funerals are not a celebration of any kind. With a little maturity I have now started to see that funerals are in a way a celebration.
In our culture, one of the ways in which we celebrate death is by money. When some people die they will leave a name of a charity or organization for people to give to in their honor. Others may give to charities or organizations associated with the deceased simply to honor the death of that person. This part does seem like a celebration. When people give to organizations in honor of the death of a certain person, they are saying they want to celebrate this person’s life by giving money to a cause that would be important to this certain individual. Under this same category is the expense of the funeral. We celebrate death when we pay as much as we do to have a funeral. I am not exactly for sure how much every single detail of a funeral cost. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems amazing how much we pay for caskets. Caskets are beautifully made though, and they are the proper way in our culture to lay someone to rest. In twenty years the casket that cost a few thousand dollars may be completely eroded. There is also the cost of a tombstone. . They play a part in the celebration of death by saying that John Doe lays here. They give the years he lived and maybe a few other details. Tombstones are important though because they remind people through the ages that the person who lays here did live at one time. They also show that not only did this person live, but that they were important in the life or lives of someone.
The funeral seems to be one of the most important ways in which we celebrate death. For anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours there will be a program that focuses strictly on the deceased individual. During this program a family member may get up and say how wonderful a father or mother this person was. A friend may get up and tell a few funny stories about the individual. Others may speak on such topics dealing with how big a difference a certain individual made in the community. It can be so hard to see how funerals are a celebration with all the crying and depression. They are a celebration though, because in our culture a funeral is the way we show how much an individual meant to us and how much we are going to miss them. It is also important to note that the celebration does not end when we lay someone to rest. We continue to celebrate when we go to visit their burial place and maybe lay flowers on the grave.