Things I Learned At My First Western Funeral

  • I still know the words to the Lord’s Prayer and Amazing Grace, thanks to my years at Catholic School and UCC
  • It’s not the words of the speak­er that make us cry, it’s their own emo­tion. Therefore, humans are born with an innate sense of empa­thy.
  • Old peo­ple like to pick at their faces
  • The pas­tor may go on longer about their reli­gion, than the per­son who passed away and their faith. This is more to com­fort those in mourn­ing, than about hon­our­ing the mem­o­ry of the dead.
  • Knowing some­one for only a month before get­ting mar­ried can lead to over six­ty years of mar­i­tal bliss


  1. that’s a lot to learn in a day.

    incan­ta­tions stick in some back cor­ner of brain. even if you start to play it to peo­ple with Alzheimer’s patients who are non-ver­bal, their voice can still come and recite it. Same with songs from their youth.

    I think most mam­mals (most as species not most as indi­vid­u­als since wiring has indi­vid­ual flukes) have empa­thy. It isn’t a anthro­po­mor­phism to say so. It’s an anthro­cen­trism to say it is isn’t the case.

    Yep, funer­als whether lec­tures or par­ties are for the liv­ing.

    Cool, on 60 years. Some peo­ple luck out, and then live in a way to keep that luck rolling.

  2. It was quite a bit to absorb in an hour, let alone a day.

    I think you’re right about the empa­thy of ani­mals. And this can prob­a­bly be gen­er­al­ized to most of nature as well, save for a few excep­tions (such as par­a­sites).

  3. yes, I’d have to agree. Bit hard to extrap­o­late to par­a­sites.

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