Why do we have visitations/wakes when people die?
Well, let me rephrase that. Why do we do them the way we do?
All my life, with all my loved ones and all my friends, there has been a visitation one night and the funeral/burial the following day. At the visitation, usually there is an open casket placed on one end of the room. Flowers surround the casket. Chairs, tables and Kleenex make up the remainder of the room. There is usually some bad music piped into the room. Friends and family come to pay their respects. Some people view the body, some don't. Most stand as far away from the casket as humanly possible while still remaining respectable. Stories are told, condolences are shared and that horrible awkward couple of hours ends with everyone feeling drained.
I sure wish there was another way to do it. Death sucks. Hands down. So, I know it's a sucky time, plain and simple. But, isn't there something else we could do to honor our loved ones, celebrate their lives and, if you believe, rejoice over their homecoming to a higher being?
I read an obituary the other day, and it said there would be no funeral, but friends were encouraged to meet at the families house. I had never read anything like this, but haven't stopped thinking about it. I like the idea of bucking convention in this manner. I told Steven and Taylor that when I die, just cremate me and have someone give me a final blessing. No funeral homes. No bad makeup. No dead body sitting in the room making everyone else feel like absolute crap. Put up some of the more flattering pictures of me and play all my favorite tunes. Just get some finger food, lots of beer and have a great time telling stories about how great I was. Find solace in each other, be sad if you must, but then be happy again.
I know there are many psychological studies out there about the way we do it and why it's necessary to help us heal. I get that. I certainly can't speak for everyone, only myself. But, please don't put JuJu in the corner.