My view of the world through words & photos
I recently read two blog postings that made me stop and think. In the first, someone said funeral processions should be outlawed because they are an inconvenience and a pose a danger to others. The second is a response by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Director for The Center for Loss & Life Transition, who points out there are sound, beneficial reasons for funeral processions.
One of the reasons Dr. Wolfelt states is to “activate community support.” Years ago, I would not have understood what he meant by this. I gained a personal understanding nearly two years ago.
In September 2012, we were the ones in the funeral procession – going slow, driving with family and friends to my husband’s grave site. I’m sure there were people who were inconvenienced for a few minutes as we slowly traveled the five miles from the church to the cemetery. I saw so many people moving along in their lives as if nothing had happened. And nothing had happened to them. I was the one who had suffered a loss. I was the one who was now solely responsible for two children that we were supposed to raise together.
As we got to a major intersection, I worried about what was going to happen since many cars had already been cutting between our cars or racing ahead of the procession. And then a wonderful thing happened. A women in a red truck saw what was happening and positioned her truck to block the oncoming traffic so we could all turn onto the next street uninterrupted. I was so touched by her kindness for someone she didn’t know. I thanked God for her and asked Him to bless her in some way since I knew I’d never be able to thank her in person. I thought this was an isolated outreach to a stranger, but I was wrong.
On the final street before the cemetery, several people stopped on the sidewalks – some bowed their heads, some made the Sign of the Cross, one man stopped and saluted. Each action touched us. My kids and I commented on how nice it was for people to be acknowledging what was happening. And I said more prayers of thanksgiving.
Those actions by strangers to us have changed how I react to funeral processions. If I’m driving, I make sure I give them room and I say a prayer for the family. If I’m walking nearby, I stop, bow my head and say a prayer. They are little things, and my actions may not even be noticed by the family or friends, but I now know that we are a community and we have lost a member