I must really be living outside the life of the churchy to have forgotten that I could expect a funeral to include a lot of talk about God, along with that notion of the happy land where we meet Him and are in some fashion reunited with all the dead people we'd like to be reunited with (but presumably none of the ones we wouldn't).
Maybe this goes without saying, but for the record, if I turn up dead, (1) I hope it's not Juli who finds me, esp. if it's soon, since she just went through that, and (2) if any of you are involved in some gathering in memory of me, please do the storytelling thing and not the heaven folklore and beseeching of the Lord business.
That's another thing: why would we have to ask God to take our loved one in? I mean, what would our beseeching have to do with His Divine Judgment or His Love or Whatever? Is it even scripturally legit to engage in that sort of thing? Like if we didn't ask He might not do it, or he's more likely to if we do? Doesn't it sort of imply that you could be a little more of a sinner if there would later be lots of people being led in asking Him to take your soul up and embrace it in His Arms and such? That was the part that was most confusing. You know, cuz if it's entirely without effect, the point is not what is ostensibly the point. And I'm all for invoking of muses in poetry & that kind of thing. I can dig, of course, how such a beseeching might make the mourners feel better or useful or organized or united or something, but I don't see how it jives with what I assume are the religious presumptions about these circumstances.
Of course these folks were Methodists, and maybe that's just the method for such a moment.
Anyway, goodbye Bea. I'm glad I knew you. I'll never forget how, in the aftermath of your daughter dying, you made a point to inquire about and sympathize with my emotional turmoil, and we sat and talked of my troubles at length. You were a woman 50 years older than I who talked to me as a peer---I love that. I'm sure I didn't get a complete impression of your irreverence and humor, but I did see some. And I haven't known many other straight people of your generation who didn't blink an eye at queerness. I like the idea that you and Max have the Airstream parked in some shady space in some heaven with complete hook-ups and loved ones for neighbors, and I can get into meditating on that, even if I don't believe it in any real-life believing way.
Perhaps the figurative is my heavenly. The subjunctive my magic. The aesthetic my higher power. But, nah, my higher power has to do with something about kindness, and I won't blather on about that now.