As of yesterday I've now been a pallbearer more often than I've been a member of a wedding, a milestone of sorts. I don't think I'll ever reach the related one, when the volume of prescribed medications overtakes the self-administered.
I don't think I bash Christians too often, mostly because I know some good and smart people who belong to that club, and I try to keep that in mind when I hear the worst coming out of that quarter. But their funerals--if they're all like the sort of stoically boring Midwestern Protestant numbers I get invited to--could make me reconsider. It's not so much that the blandishments don't match the situation, although around ten-fifteen minutes in I always start to feel like I'm floating on a cloud of pure nonsense, like watching a version of Peewee's Playhouse that isn't meant to be funny. It's that the sales pitch, or what must be, from the opposite perspective, the constant need for reassurance never seems to stop. The fact that someone you loved is DEAD is a reason to believe in God's bountiful love as revealed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The fact that the loss hurts like hell is a reason to believe in God's bountiful love as revealed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The answer to those eternal questions that plague your mind at times like these is...well, you're ahead of me by now. I mean, I believe in Gravity, but if I fall off a ladder I want painkillers, not some friendly words about the scientific method.
Sure, there's the Irish wake thing, but that just seems to substitute heavy drinking without the possibility of it evolving into sex, even regrettable sex, at some point.