I attended a funeral last week.
The woman who passed away was a family friend, someone important to me. The funeral was held in the city where I grew up, about two and half hours away.
The funeral was held in person as well as streamed on the church’s Facebook page. I had two choices: I could watch the funeral online, or I could take the day off in order to attend in person.
I chose to go in person. Here’s why.
An event like this isn’t just the words that are said and the songs that are sung. It is the whole experience: the opportunity to come together to grieve and to celebrate the life of the person who has left us. If I had only been able to watch online, I would still have heard the moving words that were spoken, and I would still have reflected on this woman and her impact on my life.
But by going in person, I was able to connect with other people, not mourn alone at my laptop. I saw old friends, people brought together in this important ritual.
I think it’s wonderful that it’s possible to participate virtually now in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. It’s not always possible to change your schedule around to be somewhere in person, and making more events accessible is a good thing.
Now, the choice of how we participate comes with new opportunities to be intentional about how we want to connect, to be in relationship, to support each other.
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