Largely, the funeral was nice. There was lots of singing, which would have made Nana happy, and there were nice anecdotes, both of the funny and serious variety.
But, all could not be well. The reverend at this church spent a few moments considering my grandmother, and then launched into a fire and brimstone rant that roughly started like this (I’m paraphrasing). “If you ever want to see Erma [my grandma] again, you’d better embrace Jesus right now, or you have no chance, and it’s all over.” It carried on like that, with no reprieve, for a solid ten minutes.
Again, maybe I’m overly sensitive. Perhaps my athiesm is just coming out in full form, but I could not believe the gall of somebody to try to teach us a lesson and guilt us into religious devotion with the death of a family member. That’s sick, and there are no two ways about it. There is a time for that speech, but it’s not when you’re dealing with the sensitive issue of a passed loved one. The point of a funeral (even confirmed by the same reverend) is to celebrate the life of a person, not use their death as a tool for coercion of the congregation. I’m sure he thought he was doing the right thing within the bounds of his belief system, but this is exactly the sort of thing that I feel undermines the very ideas behind organized religions, and if there is a god, I can’t see him being the sort to punish people this way.