It was in my 20s that I started having to attend funerals and viewings. That whole death circus thing we do in western society is so odd to me and was to me then. Well, actually then it was more creepy and morbid and horrendously sad. Now it's odd. The first dead person I saw attending his own funeral was a very much loved and respected member of the church family. Stand-up kind of man, great dad, loving hubby, someone everyone liked and respected. He died from a terminal illness in middle age, really a hard kind of a loss for family and friends alike because of his dynamic personality and charm.
The viewing was difficult enough. Emotional energies were off the chart, as was to be expected, and the snarky gossipy stuff going on in people's heads was too! That's another story for another time, trust me, it's a hoot! Back to the viewing. I kept thinking I was seeing a human shape moving through the room, but, being in such a situation, it's really difficult to turn to another person in the line to ask, "Hey, did you just see that dead person moving around the room? Or, was I just imagining things?" Granted it would probably be the topic of conversation for a while outside the funeral home, but, definitely not the type of thing one says in "polite company" at a viewing. Long story short, I felt cold breezes in the room, and was really beginning to believe that I was seeing someone moving about like they were visiting with the mourners and the family. Because the hour was late I paid my respects and left, not wanting to stay longer so I could avoid my inevitable question about the "phantom" I kept seeing to some poor unsuspecting person at the funeral home.
At the funeral the next day, held in the funeral home, there was a very large crowd of people, occupying all the folding chairs and standing respectfully around the room. The family entered and took their places at the front of the room nearest the casket. The church organist played beautiful music this man loved in life, his family spoke of his life and their love for him, and, then it happened - the dearly departed walked through the door to the room where the service was being conducted, walked straight down the aisle, kissed his wife on the top of her head, hugged his daughter, patted his sons on their backs, walked over to the casket to stare at his own corpse, shook his head at that sight, turned walked back up the aisle, waved hello to me because I could see him, then left the room and faded away into nothingness. Just walked out and faded away. Snap! Just like that! He paid his farewells to his family and left "POOF!"
It was weird, wonderful, confusing, and fascinating all in one breath. The first time I had seen a dead person that I knew personally since my sister died all those years before. Proof positive to me that "we" exist after the demise of the skin suit we put on every day and proof positive that those who die are "whole" the moment after their deaths because this man had been quite ill before he past and the spirit that walked into that room was healthy, robust and full of love and zest for his next role.
Seeing dead people at funerals doesn't always happen for me, but, when it does, it usually teaches me something or provides me with messages about life after death that I needed to learn for my existence in my own skin suit.
I have more stories about dead people at funerals. I'll share them with you eventually. But, for now, this is the most important one. The very first of many dead people out of the casket and walking around among the living before the funeral ever started.