Funerals are odd things.
I never know how to act at a funeral. Is somber the right attitude? If so, how somber? Should I smile or would that look too out of place? "It's good to see you..." is a phrase that we all have said at such a rather inappropriate time. What we really mean to say is, "It IS good to see YOU... it just stinks that it has to be HERE!
Life goes on, right? When you are the one going through the personal loss, it seems amazing that the earth doesn't somehow open up and swallow you, in your grief. But in reality-- Life DOES go on. Laughter occurs, even in the middle of utter sadness. Memories are shared that make you both tragically sad and yet exuberantly happy!
My own mortality is ironically measured in the aging faces of the cousins with which I shared so much of my youth. Those wonderful memories; the Christmas Eve dinners that would find the older generation busy in the kitchen making homemade tamales and beans, as the cousins played tag in the backyard. Those lovely, warm Fourth of July nights that would include cumbias and salsa dancing under the flickering lights of the patio. The many, many dollar-dances and Chicken-dances that we have enjoyed at each other's weddings. The intense laughter! All those great memories...
Now, life just seems so much more...serious. We cousins are together, still, but much less frequently. It seems as though we are now taking turns burying our parents. Surreal. How did time go by so quickly?!
Such strange emotions all at once. Funerals are odd things.