We have had a month of deaths. Special people who made the world different and people who matter to my dear friends are gone. Mortality is on my mind.
I’ve gone to funerals before now. I’ve felt that awful sense of helplessness when next to someone in deep grief. Their pain always brings tears to my eyes literally, and then I judge myself for crying for their tears, all the time hoping desperately that somehow my showing up has lessened the burden for them. I have not gone to the funeral, but been there for the afterwards which goes on for weeks and months and never goes away, just transforms into something to live with.
One of these passing was celebrated as a humanist funeral. I am not going to talk about who had passed, or the horrible grief felt by those she left behind. I am going to talk about how a having a non-religious structure to a funeral helped me. There was no mention of God, no promise of Heaven, just simply that she was gone and we were sad. It was the first time I have ever heard someone actually talk about a death that simply. It was plain, but it was all about her. There was no benevolent deity also taking centre stage. It was so good to have the ceremony be just about her, her life and those who cared about her. It was a relief to not have to translate God into Goddess or quietly talk to the departed directly under my breath because the religious dialog was going on some other tangent. I was able to listen and be fully present.
To have the option of a ceremony which is about the human/person is a wonderful thing. The Humanist Association of Ireland http://www.humanism.ie/ have accredited officiants all over Ireland.
Think about it.