A viewing and a funeral are a strange thing.
My uncle died recently and tonight was the viewing and funeral. It is surreal to be in a commercial, multi-faith use building. The decor was completely non-descript and bland in a boring classy kind of way. Looking at the front of the room, there was cross that was most certainly interchangeable with a symbol of any other faith tradition. Ewwww...
It's odd to see family I hadn't seen in years. I had cousins show up that I hadn't seen in 22 years. Is it acceptable to laugh in a funeral home? Seems wrong and yet it is what it is.
My uncle's body was in an open casket. And just as when you can't stop looking at a train wreck, I felt compelled to see "him". Of course, it looked just like him and nothing like him at the same time. I don't recall him having that grey hue before, but I do remember that fabulous white, thick, wavy head of hair.
I have some nice memories of my uncle, but I hadn't really seen him much in recent years. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago, and in the last couple of years, the disease had raped him of his mind and capabilities.
There were moments I was overcome with emotion, which was strange since I hadn't seen him in a while. But what was stranger was looking over at some people across the aisle, going through pages on an iPad.
I love my uncle. I love that I went to his funeral. I love that he is no longer trapped in his dwindling body and diminishing mind. I love that he is now in Heaven.
A viewing and a funeral is a strange thing.