For heaven's sake, people, go to funerals.
They will help you understand life and how precious it is. They will help you understand the value of religious ceremony and ritual done well. They will help you express, by your mere presence, your gratitude for the life of the person being commemorated.
A few days ago, I attended the funeral of an old friend, a former colleague at The Kansas City Star, Charles W. Hucker, who died of cancer at age 58 (two years younger than I am). It was held at an Episcopal church in Kansas City, and was full of the liturgy, stirring music and moving words that make funerals so valuable and so different from almost anything else we experience in this culture.
The homily -- a eulogy, really -- was offered by Charlie's daughter, Anne. It was full of love and honesty and respect and tenderness. Where else but at a funeral can you find such amazing words from and about family?
OK. End of sermon. But, please, don't miss any funeral you have a legitimate reason to attend. It's where truth and life and love are celebrated in ways rarely available in our culture.
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