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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Feeling Funerals

              It will always be part of life, death.

It will always surprise us when it happens to someone we know and love.
It will always remind us that our own death is down the road too.
Feeling out funerals, knowing when to speak or when to listen, feeling the hugs and the tears. Supporting each other in true honest real love and loyalty, such as in family or with your best friend.

Feeling out the dramas, the unresolved issues and the history of everything in moments of being together in suffering such a great loss, is all apart of death and leaving the living behind to deal with the aftermath.

I remember being 22 and 23 when my grandparents passed away, in the ceremonies I learned new things about them because just like with myself they had layers of hobbies, interests and adventures before I was ever born to pay attention to them, this got me thinking about all humans in their different roles they are taking on. As the end of their lives come about they have so much more depth, so much more emotional facts to their history then just when I would hang out with them.

I remember realizing that it takes practice and patience to listen to another person share about their life, to be there for them is learn more about them. To face whatever struggle they have with compassion and calmness is what I learned so very young in my life. 

My first funeral to attend that I can really remember, was when I was 15 years old when my mentally challenged Great Uncle passed away. I realized how I could of done more for him, just by sitting with him chatting about nothing would of been nice. I felt a huge sense of responsibility suddenly by his death....He was hidden from society on our farm and I could of been a better friend I think looking back, it was the beginning for me to realize how short our lives are.
AND that Life isn't always about just ourselves, like being so "busy" or distracted in doing whatever we want....
That process changed me so profoundly seeing how this family member died cut off from the world and I didn't really ever know him at all.
It was deeply sad for me in wondering what can I do better next time someone is dying?
So in some ways that experience made me wiser and more aware how all lives will come to a end, so how we treat each other right now matters greatly. In other ways I was freaked out about death and going to hell I spent hours and hours in prayer at the age of 15 hoping to avoid the eternal damnation that my church or my parents talked about.

When my best friend's father passed away, she and I talked for a long time about how ridiculous funerals can get. People throw themselves out there in crazy ugly crying or they act like the person who die was a saint. a god or a superhero....these are the common  theatrics of funerals and while you are sad, while you are hurting being aware that everyone processes differently helps in dealing with the crazies.
She told me that this is the part she hates so much trying to put a ceremony together that reflected the real person in death not just all the expectations of their family members still living.  
It's a tricky situation, I know for all my funeral stories and for all my observing people under such stress or grief, they cling to a belief system or a certain idea of who the person was to them in desperation or in bullying which makes any common sense fly right out the window!

I also understand most people have good intentions, but they are very uncomfortable or awkwardly rude in a funeral ceremony, I tried to keep in mind this could be their first time attending something like this......?
 Just as I had to learn my own pathway through honoring the dead, they too will learn as they go.  I do better in my raw grief if I can remember to not take it personal, living with grace in such a time as death's hurting sting is also very important to me from all my own suffering.

There will always be more to the person we lay to rest, more then even the funeral director can share in one hour's ceremony. 
There will always be drama among the living, the ones who want to control everything and the ones who have given up completely.
The balancing I have learned about when it comes to putting a funeral together or showing up for support in one, is that I have to evaluate my own reactions, base my coping/caring steps carefully from what I first FEEL when arriving to the suffering scene of sadness.....(Feeling is the key to having good guidance in what to do.)
There is no one rule book fits all in order to help out or deal with death. I think that I am getting better with every one I have to attend, but it's never ever easier and it's never ever perfectly staged.

Life is always moving forward, every one sees through their own eyes about right and wrong so I have learned feeling out what they request of me is all I can do.

Being still and knowing my breath will one day end too helps me hug a crying soul beside me as my own tears soak up around my neck. Our final "Goodbyes." to those we love, to those we were so close to and to those we want to see again but can't, death teaches us how to really live in the end.

Death teaches us to sit with those not here for much longer, and just listen.

Death teaches us that it is not all about ourselves in the end....

Death teaches us to not fear being alive and to have the courage to take on a new adventure! To choose to be brave since our time is very very limited after all.

Death teaches us how we don't have all the answers to what will happen to us after that so we take it on faith while we still breath and think about it some more.

Life and death are the biggest teachers for our heart, mind and souls......for however it should go, I can only try to feel my way through it and do my best!

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