Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Surreal (After)Life

I went to my first wake this week. As a kid I avoided them because death wasn’t something I could face. My father was sick all the time and I figured that if I started going to funerals, it would bring the Grim Reaper to our front doorstep. I decided to go to this one to support family members and maybe bring a little bit of lightheartedness to the situation when appropriate.

We pulled up the funeral home where 4 other services were going on. The parking lot was packed and the wifey told me that not all the people were there for the service we were attending. She knew exactly what I was thinking. We walked in and passed the parlors where the other services were going on. As we passed one room, I saw an older lady lying in her coffin with about 5 people sitting in there. Right there and then I actually got the creeps. It was my first wake and the first time I’ve seen a real body in a coffin. I think it was the fact that I didn’t know the person or any of the other people personally that made the lady just seem more real.

The service we attended was really nicely curated and handled. There was a lot of family and friends there that I didn’t know but it was cool to see all these people pay their respects.

It got me thinking of my mortality and legacy. When I’m gone, what kind of service would I have? Would it be filled with a lot of people remembering the good things about me or would it be an empty room? The experience drove home to me to live each moment to the fullest. Life is a summary of each of those moments.

Currently listening :
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: 04 October, 1994

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