I have only been to three funerals in my life and, regrettably, two of the three have been in memory of people who died whilst still at school age. The most recent of these three funerals and, perhaps, the saddest, took place last Saturday.
Of course, there is no such thing as a nice funeral, but, sat in the church, I could not help but feel glad of the number of people who arrived. There were more people than there were seats. Everyone in my year came and they all made the rather rare effort to look smart. I don’t know if that is to be expected or not, but it touched me all the same.
What really struck me, though, was the various crying patterns throughout the church. Some people were crying before they had even passed through the gates. Some saved their tears for the end, but so many made attempts, futile or otherwise, to refrain from crying. They would examine the tile pattern on the floor, tap their foot or sway lightly from side to side. Nobody wanted to cry.
I am not a crying kind of person. It is not that I am unaffected by emotional things: I just don’t cry. Sometimes, I find myself unsure as to whether I should feel guilty for not crying and yet, other people seem to feel guilty for doing the exact opposite.
At the funeral, it was one particular friend and his crying that made everyone cry. I think that there are different types of sad crying: sometimes you cry because it is what you should do and other times, you cry simply because it is all that you can do. When a person who you usually holds back their tears to comfort others cries because that is all that they can do, that is so unbelievably striking. Even I cried.
The truth is, everyone feels compelled to cry every so often. Especially when something as devastating as this happens and I don’t know why we try to not cry, only that, eventually, the need kind of takes over. Sometimes, it is okay to just cry. And sometimes, we need to cry. It is this crazy thing that does not make us feel better, but doesn’t make us feel worse. It just reminds us that we have a right to be upset or overwhelmed.