Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Good Funeral for a Great Guy

We attended Steve Metsker's funeral today. It was literally standing room only.

Two thoughts:

1) It was amazing to hear everyone reiterate exactly the same things. Steve was consistently wise, clever, accepting, inspirational, encouraging and a stand up role model to everyone he touched. He was a team player, eschewed the spotlight, accepted people as they are and pushed them to be what they might be. I have never been to a funeral where it was so clear what the direct impact of a single life had been on so many people.

2) The power of a liturgical structure in a ceremony is that it provides a narrative at key life moments (birth, death, wedding, etc.) because we often lack them on our own. Granted, the Unitarian Universalist tradition doesn't offer much in the way of concrete narrative, but this funeral today was entirely made by the personal anecdotes from a variety of friends and family. Steve's life, words, actions and influence were clearly narrative enough. Everything else (sparse as it was) simply got in the way.

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. -- Mark Twain

Hey, man. You win.


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