(props to nightmare and frog pj's for making the memorial stickers above)
I really do. They seem so morbid. Someone you cared about has died. Why do we need to see them lying there being dead? We are being voyeuristic while they are at their most vulnerable. It just feels wrong.
Plus, I never, ever know what to say to the loved ones. I'm sorry for your loss? That seems so lame and cliche, and they've already heard that 100 fucking times, and they are a WHOLE LOT sorrier for their loss than I can ever be.
Me telling them how bad I feel seems a lot like someone with a papercut telling a terminal cancer patient how bad the cut stings.
But there is a reason that humans have been honoring their dead and having these services since Neanderthal days. Seeing the person, having the visitation, makes it real.
Nope, it's not just a mistake that will be corrected or a false rumor.
That's him. There he is.
It forces you to come to terms with it and deal with your emotions. The benefit is that you are all dealing with your emotions together, with other people who share the loss (to greater or lesser degrees).
I hope that Greg's family and close friends took some small comfort from seeing how many people's lives he touched. There were many more from all over the country and the world who couldn't be there but sent condolences.
I remember when I was 17 and my grampa died. To me, he was just "Pawie". I knew he'd served in WWI.
I knew he had been a policeman and detective in Coffeyville, KS back in the 30's.
But when we were riding in the car from the funeral home to the graveyard, it blew me away to look out the back window and see headlights stretching off to the horizon. I had no fucking idea.
It's important for the family to know that their loved one was loved by others and made a difference in peoples lives.
That's why we do these things.
Many of the bloggers convened at Harry's down in the River Market (where some of us met Greg for the first time) after the visitation to share a "Beam & Coke" together.
It was comforting to be among friends. Spyder, Dan, Nightmare, TEC, Sponge, Kato, Janet, Keith, File, Toast...
Just before heading out, I offered up a toast. It was totally plagerized from a comment left on Greg's blog which was, in turn, a paraphrased quote from City Slickers.
"Lord! We give you Greg Beck. Try not to piss him off."
I was originally going to propose the toast
"Let the Heavenly Hunt for Angel Titties Begin!"but by that time KC Sponge was there with her adorable young daughter so talk about angel titties seemed inappropriate.
Even to me.