From a reader:
A bit of perspective on the Irish wake approach. I still remember from
my late brother-in-law’s funeral what the priest said about mourning.
My brother in law had fought a 10 year battle against a brain tumor. In
those 10 years he managed to get an MBA, a college teaching position,
and father a child with my sister (something that many in both families
still consider a miracle). The priest said that the grief was for us,
because Dan’s pain was over, and he was in a better place. We grieve
for ourselves, for the separation from a soul we love, but we shouldn’t
be afraid to laugh and joke as we remembered Dan and celebrated his
life. The wake is a celebration of the departed soul’s life, and a
farewell party. The mourning, that is for our loss.