Absence of Death

Throughout my life, I have not attended many funerals for people in my own family. I vaguely remember attending them for my maternal grandfather and an uncle when I was quite young. In fact, I have attended more funerals for people outside my family, and with good reason. For several of my twelve years of Catholic schooling, I was an altar boy, and I tended the altar on several funerals. There were also three deaths at my high school in my time there, and I was obligated to be in the honor guard due to my National Honor Society membership. I hadn't known any of the three people that died very well. In addition to my hazy memories of family funerals, this helped to reinforce my detached funereal perspective. I became accustomed to seeing it as somebody else's process. Seeing pictures on this site is a strange type of affirmation of that vantage point. I cannot account for any of the emotion present in the photos, be it grief or happiness. I find myself wondering about the family dynamics at funerals and how it affects past conflicts. Death is, thankfully, something that I have experienced by proxy at best.

submitted by
Patrick, age 20
Ann Arbor, MI USA

| Next Essay | Back to Gallery |