To be honest, it's not something I've seen a whole lot of. But it's something I've been thinking about lately. My dear friend Shelley lost her dad last month. I can't even go there. The thought of losing one of my parents terrifies me.
Today I took a roadtrip with my family. We traveled a few hours down into California, up winding roads to a monastery deep in the woods where friends and family honored the life of my Uncle Steve. My Uncle and other members of the family practice a different religion than I do, but the beauty of the service was not lost on me. I stood in the bright, ornate chapel, with painted faces of saints and angels surrounding us, listening to the melodic chanting of the monks. I listened to the reading of holy passages that are steeped in tradition and reverance. I followed the casket up a winding hill to a cemetery nestled under towering oaks. I looked into the face of my Uncle's grown son and was reminded that there is nothing like family, even if you've spent a lifetime apart. I took one of many shovels and sprinkled red dirt over the casket. I ate a simple meal that was prepared by the monks, who have no use for electricity, cell phones or even (gasp) facebook.
We all have to say goodbye, and we all do it differently. It was an amazing day that I will remember always, full of beautiful differences. And oh, how beautiful they are.