Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Thought on Funerals

The Rev. Marilyn Sewell writes about funerals and memorial services, and in the course of her essay acknowledges that sometimes those who are mourned are mostly remembered for their faults:

But what if Virginia was a difficult person? What if she was a narcissist, who didn't really pay much attention to her children? Or what if she was a raging alcoholic? Do we really want to remember her, to celebrate her life? Yes, we do, just as she was, in all of the various colors of her life....

I nodded when I read this, and immediately thought of the recent eulogy that Bruce Springsteen gave his bandmate and friend, Clarence Clemons. Clarence was evidently a sometimes problematic personality, notwithstanding his talent, and Bruce was straightforward about that in his remarks, in a very loving yet frank manner, as befits a true friendship.

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