Why is it that when people die we want to forget the bad and glorify the good. I know for a fact that this is one reason people are disenchanted by traditional funeral services. The hypocrisy can be hard to sit through. But what if it didn't have to be?
The eulogy scene in the movie TRAINWRECK shows us an excellent example of just the opposite. Brutally honest, it turns out, may be just what the doctor ordered.
If you have recently lost a loved one, or if someone you love is dying, and you have a sense of humor, please see this movie.
Amy Schumer wrote and starred in this funny, honest, sometimes raunchy but always entertaining story about her imperfect life, surrounded by imperfect people- and that is what makes it so perfect.
People often say; "no one will come to their funeral so we shouldn't have a service", "They weren't very nice", "They didn't have many friends".
In my opinion the eulogy scene in the movie TRAINWRECK is pretty realistic. People came even though the deceased is a well recognized "asshole" and "alcoholic". He offended every person who attended his funeral. What if we did something crazy and asked every person there, "what did he do to offend you?" and "why did you come to his memorial anyway?" Now that would be one entertaining history to put on paper.
Life is complicated. If we're lucky we get many years of complicated. We connect and touch people along the way that only we know about. We show kindness in the darkest of corners where no one else can see. The slightest interaction for one person can change the course of another person's life like atoms bumping into each other.
Don't assume that there is no need for a service (we all know what happens when we assume). Don't take away the ability for people to show up and tell you their secrets. Tell you how your loved one touched their life. If memorial services are done right, it is possible to have a more complete understanding of a person once they've died than we ever did when they were alive. This should be the goal anyway.
And just think...if we celebrated the actual person with all their faults, we could build a tribute about our loved one that was full of the rich truths that "actually" made them who they were. In this truth, a future descendent could be lucky enough to find a kindred spirit. If we record the story, if we pass down the story, if we know the story, then we will realize we all belong to a tribe of imperfectly perfect people.
So, try telling the truth. Make people smile. Make people laugh. Hell- isn't that what your loved one would have wanted anyway?