It was my friend’s funeral today. And I have to say it was one of the worst experiences I have been through. There was no way it could be otherwise, of course, some things just have to be endured.
I’ve been to funerals before. Several of them. But none for a relatively young man who died for no reason. None for someone I loved in quite the same way as I loved him. I found that I payed more attention to what was being said.
And I struggle to see how the words could bring comfort to anyone. The minister preached on Lazarus. Yes, exactly, the raising of the dead Lazarus. I seemed to be the only person who felt this was incredibly insensitive to a family who’s son wouldn’t be raised from the dead after 4 days in the tomb. I also found the continual quoting of “I am the resurrection and the life, … whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die” (repeated at least 4 times) to be rather offensive. And I could not join in the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in seeming celebration of this cruel event.
Up to this point I have been very content to let my funeral be however my family want it to be. That would probably mean some liberal Christian service. After all, I’m not going to be around in my funeral, it is for their benefit.
But tonight I am quite angry. I don’t want the story of Lazarus at my funeral. I don’t want my death to be an excuse for blithe bigotry. I don’t want my family to find comfort in singing of the pre-ordination of my demise.
But I don’t know what I do want. Well, I’d end with Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, but beyond that I don’t know.
But if I can muster up some coherent final wishes, I might now have the courage to make them known.