I have never experienced losing someone in my family. This changed as of yesterday. My mom's uncle, and in all regards mine as well, passed away. Whenever I think of Joe, I immediately think of laughter. He was always the one telling a joke and if his after-retirement job doesn't express the kind of person he was, nothing will--he was a substitute for kindergarten classes.
All of this has caused me to really think about how people in the South handle death. Nothing can represent the experience, in my mind, more than the movie Elizabethtown. If you haven't seen it, it's a must. The movie shows how all family members congregate in one house with tons of baked dishes and reminisce. That is so accurate. I am traveling home this weekend to personally participate in my own family's version.
I love that in the South, death is more than one hour devoted to a funeral. Here, it's much more. My next couple days will be spent celebrating the life Joe led and the legacy he left through his daughter and grandchildren. If the South does anything right, it's deal with the loss of a good, fellow member. Joe was much better than good, he was a great person and will be greatly missed.