I attended a beautiful funeral mass today and feel so privileged to be among many who mourned the loss of an incredible woman. The church was filled to the brim on a weekday afternoon, the choir (who practiced an hour before) sang beautifully and the tribute given by the family was moving. There were also plenty of tears.
Last year, I attended at least five funeral masses and at each one I cried. To be honest, it was quite exhausting emotionally. It is not always an indication of my closeness to the deceased, for one or two of them I barely knew them. Yet, I cried.
I cry because I know how it feels like to lose someone close. I lost my dad almost 18 years ago. Even though the grief is not as intense, the void will always be there. At every funeral mass that I attend, I recall my own loss and share in the loss of the mourners. And so, I allow myself to cry and express my grief at funeral.
An insight came to me today that tears are proof that we love and care. And what a privilege it is that we have such close relationships in our lives that it hurts so bad when death happens. I think about the recent news that I have heard on social media of police looking for the next-of-kin-of those who passed away alone at the hospice or hospital. How tragic and sad it is to leave the world and no one significant cares.
What everyone craves primarily is connection and a sense of belonging. To belong, we necessarily will be hurt when the person we are in relationship with leaves us. This is inevitable.
The shift that happened in me is this; when I cry at funeral it means that I have cared or loved. There is also the feeling of gratitude that I have the chance to encounter this person in my life and witness how the individual had lived a life that’s meaningful, inspiring and impactful.
Let’s not shy away from tears and sadness; even as we celebrate the life of the deceased and have hope that one day, we will all reunite again in heaven. Tears are proof that we love and care.