Attending a funeral is something that I dread almost all times. The situation demands you to pretend that you are sharing the grief of the loved ones of the deceased, when you know that you cannot share someone’s grief by just attending a ceremony. I hate doing it but I know that I must do it, as is the societal norm. The biggest part of the funerals is pretension.

It is sort of interesting to observe people in such situations. At a funeral, your sorrow, or the pretension of it, depends on the others. You look at the others and observe what face they are putting up and accordingly make up yours. You observe those who come and go and wonder why a stranger looks more sad and why a family member of the deceased doesn’t look so sad. Later, it could even become a talk of the town that the family of the deceased did not cry out loudly and what could be the reason behind it. And if some family did cry out loud, the same lot would say that they were so ‘village-ish’.

Then there are some ‘special’ people. People who would be ranting on how strong a relationship they have had with the deceased and how much the deceased meant to them. More often this rant is just to convince the others of how much they meant to the deceased so as to indirectly say how special they are compared to the rest. The more famous the deceased is, the more the numbers in this lot would be.

Funerals are also about numbers. If you miss attending a funeral, you would be offending the family of the deceased no matter how good or supportive you have been to the dead when they were alive. You gotta be there. At the end of the funeral or after a few days, it would be the numbers that matter to the family of the deceased. The grandness of the ceremony is defined by the total number of people and V.I.P.s attended the function.

What funerals are not about, at many a times, is the deceased.

4 thoughts on “Funerals”

  1. I hear you. In fact, if I had my way, I would never go to these events. But it is mostly because I dread what to say (or not to say) to the loved ones!

    A couple of years ago, when I lost my favorite Aunt, I was heartbroken. Some of my friends came. Some said comforting words. I don’t remember most of them. I do, however, remember the awkward or silly things some of them said. In the hindsight, I think the awkward ones meant more to me. But those guys, despite their discomfort, came over just to meet me. But yes – you are right. It never was about my Aunt.

    In Thrissur, I have seen and heard of many bizarre things that happen for funerals. There was that time when some relatives had a feud because the newly widowed woman did not buy “vaaalayma” sarees for her dead husband’s sisters. It was disgusting.

  2. Oh yeah, “vaalaayma” is the most unsahikkable thing that follows a death. Seems that mourning ceremonies are forced upon people, particularly the womenfolk.

    When a close one passes away, it is always nice to have close friends around. They don’t mostly say comforting words, but their presence is a big relief.

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