I can think of two very good things about funerals:
(1) IT BRINGS THE FAMILY TOGETHER.
Growing up our family was not what you'd call close. We did not do gift exchanges at Christmas with our relatives and the extent of our visiting relatives was our grandmothers and the aunts who lived with them. That was pretty much the only contact we had with our extended family. Once in awhile, I think a total of 3 or 4 times, we visited our cousins in Mansfield (which was about an hour's drive). I remember one party we went to at another cousin's house. Other than that, the only cousin I saw on a semi-regular basis was Carol because she's a hairdresser so I went to her for haircuts and perms. When an uncle or aunt died, that's when our whole family would get together. It was always awkward because I never would know who certain people were that I should know.
When my mom died my foster brother, John, and one foster sister, Pam, didn't even come to her funeral. I think it was because they didn't know about it in time because we had no idea where they were, no phone or address for them. Since then though, we did get in touch. When my dad died, it was the first time in years that I saw Pam and John and first met John's family. That was a really good thing. It was such a momentous occasion that Michelle's, daughter even took a picture of us all together--one with our spouses and one with just us. (Michelle is my other foster sister.)
(2) WE SEE OLD FRIENDS AGAIN.
It was actually fun seeing some old friends again who came to the funeral home to console me and pay their respects. My best friend that I grew up with came! We exchange Christmas greetings but I've only been to her house once since we've been married. I mention her in "My Funny Dad, Harry" so I told her about the book I wrote and she bought it and passed it along for her sister to read as well. It was also great seeing friends from my old church again.
I recently attended viewing hours for the father of brothers I had in the youth group from years ago. It was wonderful seeing them again and they were very surprised to see me since we hadn't been in touch at all for such a long time. They both live nearby and we exchanged email addresses so we can keep in touch now.
I think this aspect of funerals is a glimpse of what heaven will be like. It'll be one huge happy reunion with our loved ones who have gone on ahead and people we've known throughout our lives who we seldom see. I have lots of questions about this such as: "Since we get new heavenly bodies, how will we recognize each other?" "What about age--will we be the age we were when we died, or be younger or older?" At any rate, I really look forward to seeing my parents again!
John 11:25-27 says:
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ,[b] the Son of God, who was to come into the world."
I John 5:9-12 says:
9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
It is so comforting to know Jesus and have the assurance of being re-united with our loved ones again.
(3) THE FAMILY GETS SOME VERY PRETTY FLOWERS.
Here is a picture of my cat, Spunky Doodle (the one I got as a kitten from dad's), enjoying the flowers we brought home from my dad's funeral.