Every Funeral Deserves A Good Session

A close member of my family passed away. I don't think there is any other
time in the days, months, years since I have been away that I feel so far. I feel 
like I am that far away I might as well be on the moon but without the 
accomplishment of Neil Armstrong having been the first man to walk on the moon.

In Ireland they have a very specific process of burying someone. It has a 72 hour
turn around time with a great session (or drink until you cannot stand up party)
at the end of it. I have been to a good few Irish funerals during my 15 years on
the island and I have to say they understand how to send someone off with love,
laughter, tears, sadness and a little bit of fun. 

A friend of mine in Ireland said to me: 'Ah sure, you have an auld session to look
forward to.'
I laughed and said, 'there will be no sessions, my family don't do that.'
Taken aback he said, 'what do you mean? Surely you will have a drink? How can you
have a funeral with no drink?'

Americans are a bit different. There are a lot of reasons for that. I suppose
the biggest reason is what makes America great. We are a melting pot of cultures 
and people follow different traditions. I have attended a good few funerals in 
America growing up and in my early 20s and the interesting thing about them is 
that each funeral was completely different. Different in terms of what the family
did to say good-bye to their loved one. Not different in the underlying feelings 
that allow us to share the human experience.

So, I have spent the last week dealing with my grief with my children and a few
great friends that have been a wonderful support to me. I made the decision
that I need to go home and say good-bye to the person that died. I also want to
see the people I love. The people that made me the woman I am today. That is the 
thing about death it becomes clear that there is no forever. You only have now to
tell the people still alive that you love them. To have a cup of coffee, a laugh 
over all that is good, bad and fucked up.

I have been 15 years away from my own family. I didn't leave under the best 
circumstances. We have not spoken for a lot of the time over the 15 years. But
the thing about families, my family, and I suspect all families is that we
always take each other back. A love affair that never ends. When we see each other
again a hug melts away everything we have done that was hurtful to each other
over the years. There is no need to say the words 'I am sorry' because it is 
understood in the interaction and the welcome home.

Going home I feel very much the prodigal daughter:

'But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead,
and is alive again. He was lost and is found.' - Luke 15:32

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