I did no advance planning or writing for the A to Z Challenge. I've just trusted that the universe will provide inspiration. On Saturday I attended a funeral for a neighbor. During the service a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that funeral started with "F."
I haven't attended many funerals. Since my family immigrated to the US when I was small, I had no extended family in the US. I missed out on all that funeral pageantry when an aging relative dies. When I attend a funeral now, I feel rather like an anthropologist exploring a foreign culture. This was especially true at Saturday's service held at the "Cowboy Church," which is a store front in a strip mall on highway 395. The room in the back held rows of second-hand chairs and an overhead garage door. The minister, a woman, (apparently in Cowboy Church culture females lead the worship) managed to get the name of the deceased wrong, but covered nicely. Ten minutes in to the service a young relative arrived. She walked through the crowd to the front to sit with the rest of the family, carrying a small dog. Was I supposed to bring a dog? I just don't know the cultural expectations, but looking at the crowd I realized that I wasn't the only one who didn't know funeral guidelines.
The woman who died was a lovely person. I wish ministers who conduct services did a better job of actually celebrating the life of the deceased.