No one enjoys going to a funeral and that also included Robin. When we had to attend he would inevitably doze off within 5 minutes of start time. It was actually becoming a problem and not to mention kind of embarrassing. I found myself continuously nudging him to wake up. When I finally got his attention, he would look at me and deny he was sleeping but rather… MEDITATING. It was hard to stay mad at him because he would look at me with those big brown eyes as if he believed in his own fib.
Knowing our history with funerals, I wanted to ensure that his service would not induce a meditative state for any of our guests. So knowing we had to put together a great funeral, I asked his best friend Doug to deliver the eulogy in addition to our rabbi. It was important to me that Robin’s personality and charm was captured as he was such a special person. I wanted this to be a funeral he would have been proud of as I knew he was going to be with us in spirit.
I was so touched seeing how many people came near and far to pay their respects. It was in the middle of the week and many of our friends were from out-of-town and not that easy to make it with such short notice. It was a very humbling experience and really appreciated by our family.
Funerals are never fun but I think condolence lines are even worse for all involved. It is such an awkward practice especially being on the receiving end. As I stood there for about 30 minutes greeting friends and sometime strangers, it was the same drill. Person one steps up and says I am so sorry for your loss; I say thank you and then they ask “how can I help? (This whole topic will be covered in a future blog as there is ton of content around this one.) I say .. I just appreciate you coming to the funeral – thank you. If I knew the person, we hugged and or cried and if I didn’t know the person well we proceeded to an awkward half hug or hand shake.
As I stood in the line going through the same motions over and over again, I thought to myself wouldn’t it be great if we could do something different to break up this monotony? Between my grief and the need for comic relief, it would have been entertaining for someone to throw out a secret handshake or break into a choreographed dance routine to get me to laugh. Giving people a chance to show their creativity and humor would actually make this condolence line better for everyone.