Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tune In For The Eulogy...

In our busy lives, some of us only seem to come together for weddings or funerals. According to an article in today's New York Times, this may now be reduced to just weddings.

Private Funerals Streamed Online  reports about folks who have been most appreciative of funeral homes who offer streaming services on-line. Supposedly some appreciate the opportunity to offer condolences and attend the viewing via the web. In my little world, it makes me sad this is where we are as a society.

The purpose of a wake is to pay one's respects to the family and help them bear the weight of their loss. Regardless of how well we know the deceased, many times we go out of support for those remaining to let them know they are in our prayers and not alone in their suffering. It is in the coming together as a family and community we gather the strength to endure the loss of our loved one.

Several reported how they went back and viewed the service several times to see what they may have missed. I'm not sure how I feel about this. After enduring the wakes of loved ones who have left a tremendous void in my life, I do not wish, or even think I could have the strength, to go back and relive the wake or the services. I would rather remember my loved one in life, not by reliving their death.

What I hold in my heart are the kind words expressed during times of heart-wrenching grief by someone who really did not know what to say. It was the hug or gentle touch from someone wanting me to know they felt my pain. I still have the handwritten notes and cards sent to me. The bagpipes wailing the melancholy Amazing Grace wrenches my heart and takes me back to the exact moment in time I had to hear them. I don't need to relive these experiences via the web. These are human interactions that cannot be fully appreciated through the computer. But that's just me.

So now we may no longer see one another at weddings and funerals. However, the day I get a wedding invitation to send a gift and virtually attend the celebration I am packing up and becoming a hermit.


  1. That is ridiculous! Why is there a constant need to make EVERYTHING in life easier or more convenient or more accessible or more instant or more portable? I would rather not have a service when I pass than to stream it live with an optional DVD. If you can't physically get to the service, send flowers and a meaningful card!

    I can't decide if I am more irritated and disgusted by this trend or the Mark Twain issue, that I'm sure will become a trend. Beth, you know how to get a gal fired up! Must have a glass of wine now to calm down.



  2. I am laughing with A's comments. Thankfully I had already enjoyed a Manhattan before reading this post and was in a calm state of mind. ;). Beth, your are hitting on some heavy social issues here lately and it is hard not to get incensed about them. It's refreshing, none the less, to find like minds in a world gone amuck.


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