Allow joy to sit with grief

December 21, 2012
Death is a hot button issue, no doubt about that.  
We’re confused and inconsistent about it.

This is not the first time I’ve wondered why we don’t celebrate a death, 
if we truly do believe what we say we believe about life after death.

Because if after death we really go to the very best place 
that we could conceive of
–better even–
we should be jim-dandy thrilled for any dead person. 
Especially if we believe that we’ll join them there one day.
But no. 
Funerals are—funereal. 
Which means mournful, sober, lugubrious. 
Everyone stands around with serious expressions, 
nodding their heads sorrowfully and handing tissues to those who need them.
Wouldn’t a celebration ritual be much more fun? 
And more appropriate?
When someone dies, we should light up the sky with fireworks.  
Send huge, primary colored bouquets!
Sing songs of joy!
Put on our brightest hued duds!
Drink champagne!
Let’s allow joy!
And send our loved one on his or her way with a big, fat party.
Yes, of course: we will miss our loved one being present in this life. 
They’ll leave a void that no one else can fill. 
I’m not saying avoid grief. 
Grief is appropriate.


Why not also allow joy to sit with grief?
Laugh, cry and celebrate the end of this one life, 
the contribution that person made to our life and the lessons learned on all parts.
I have no interest in a funeral. 
A wake. The stuff of my culture.
No. I want a joyful celebration of the new journey 
I will have just begun and for those warm, joyful wishes to speed me on my way.
{And through that pesky life review. 
God knows I am NOT looking forward to that}

6 comments on “Allow joy to sit with grief
  1. I agree. You should make your wishes known. Plan it know yourself. Those around you may be to grief stricken to do it for you. Wonderful topic and thoughts.

  2. A celebration of life is a wonderful tribute to a life well lived. Make sure your loved ones know your wishes. Death is just another journey.

  3. I think that the sadness of a funeral is not for the party who has died – yes they are in a better place – it is for us who will miss the physical being that is gone. That empty place that use to be filled with the person that has passed.

    I want a good Irish funeral with a party to send me off. I want this to be a celebration of my life and my accomplishments – no sorrow weighing others down. I will be going to a better place, where I will be watching over my loved ones until we are together again. That is after I finish partying with those that have gone before me.

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