Monday, July 11, 2016

Humanist funeral

It was my sad family duty to attend a funeral a couple of weeks ago. Not a close relative but someone I knew reasonably well in my younger years and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it. Most of my family on my Mothers side are from West London and the particular crematorium that they all end up in holds some sad memories for all of us; it always seems to be raining. Fortunately the rain held off for the critical bit on the day but what struck me more was not the weather but the kind of funeral it was. I had no idea that both Max (my great uncle) and his wife were atheists, in any case they were and consequently had a Humanist funeral. I'd never been to one before and I found it very much more to my liking than the usual dirge; no religion at all, not one scintilla. The entire focus was on the family and his life, his loves, his history and his character, really nice, sad of course but also uplifting at the same time. It was the first time I've laughed out loud at a funeral!

A bunch of primates celebrating the end of the line for a fellow primate, no shamen, no magic spells, no collection plates, no hints of eternal damnation or deluded wishful thinking, just people.

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