As you have recently read, North has unfortunately laid to rest his mother-in-law of many years. It is one of many, many funerals I have attended over the years. And, unfortunately as well, as I grow older there are likely to be many more. We come from a large family where our Beloved Parents had nine other siblings each (or thereabouts). Once they all marry and have children, that's a lot of hearse rides.
As we attended our latest affair, it dawned on me that this particular event, though unexpected, did not have the gloom and doom of others that I have attended. One particular reason I believe is the nature of the adult children who as a group are upbeat and happy by nature with a genuine smile always at the ready. But my revelation came as I watched the action in the funeral home. The rooms were alive with children of all ages but predominately younger than seven.
Children bring a life and vitality to nearly any gathering. They don't really know what's going on and generally just go about their business which is finding someone or something to play with. Then, it is up to their parents and us grandparents to run after them, find them and restore order. But it does another thing; it helps us take our minds off the situation at hand. I think the most somber funerals I have attended are those that have a severe lack of children in attendance. Children are the bridge from one generation to the next and represent the hopes and dreams of the adults reincarnated. They show us the way to enjoy life no matter what the circumstances, because that's all they know. A death to them is an abstract notion. They are the ferry by which we enter the post-stage world of another's death.
I think I shall continue to follow this idea as other unfortunate events take place. Perhaps I may add an oar to their ferry service along the way.