Afraid to look death in the face? That’s a spiritual problem.

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Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague. Photo courtesy  Bogdan Migulski via Flickr Creative Commons.

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague. Photo courtesy Bogdan Migulski via Flickr Creative Commons.

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What is lost when we turn funerals into parties that actively deny the finality of death? In seeking to alleviate pain by posing dead people in 'lifelike' poses, do we not save up a different kind of pain for later?

  • dad

    Even though I grew up in what was then a largely Jewish neighborhood, your grandmother’s funeral was the first Jewish funeral I’d ever attended.

    I was struck by the simple dignity of it all, especially our not having to endure the ghastly (a favorite adjective of hers!) spectacle of a rouged cadaver in a gift box.

    And there was something so wonderfully, terribly real about shoveling the dirt and hearing it fall on the simple wooden coffin.

    Gentile Christian though I be, I definitely want a Jewish funeral.

    Well, I would like a proper Irish bagpiper if possible. But other than that..!