I am delivering a eulogy of a close friend this week.
I know it’s an honor; albeit one I’d prefer not to have. Instead of standing in front of a room commemorating the accomplishments and celebrating his life, I’d rather be talking with him over lunch at the Marina. Alas, ‘tis not a choice. We take what’s given.
According to statistics, the average 40-year-old will have attended ten funerals by that age.
Of course, it increases where – if you’re so fortunate to celebrate your 90th tour around the sun, you will attend no fewer than 50. I guess that makes me “lucky” in some fashion, since I can count those I’ve attended on one hand.
Although not backed by data that I could find, I assume most people attend memorials as a tribute to the one who passed, as a means to support the family, and/or as a ritual of closure. I highly doubt – with the exception of the two primary characters in the 1971 dark comedy, Harold and Maude – anyone attends because they enjoy it.
We do what we can to avoid them; very few of us have what it takes to continually be subjected to so many painful losses.
Until not too long ago, I would have said that none of us do.