Stop the Meeting! We Need to Have a Funeral

When was the last time you accidentally attended a funeral? It has happened to me three times within the past month! Here is one of the stories.

Hurriedly the audience for our goat seminar made up of members from the local 4-H Club in Bogo City began gathering their things to clear out of our venue of choice, a Catholic chapel. Not knowing why they were leaving, I simply got up and joined them. I must confess, the presentation was in Visaya so I was preoccupied getting a better high score on a game on my phone not actively engaging in the seminar.

As we were walking out of the chapel, another group of people walked in. This group was not there to talk goats, but rather to have a funeral.

When was the last time your meeting was forced to take a break because of a funeral?

While they had the funeral, we had snack time. I felt like I was back in kindergarten. Not because of the funeral but because of the snacks. As someone handed me a Coke and bread from a local bakery, it hit me that I was witnessing right before my eyes a cultural experience that could not be found in a tourist book. While this was similar to the Haitian Funeral I experienced last year, it had its own unique circumstances.

Just as quickly as the funeral started, it was over. The entire thing lasted less than 15 minutes. During that time the priest said the prayers, did the rituals, and the man was placed back in the hearse. The group of mourners followed behind the hearse to bury him.

We meandered back to our seats and resumed right where we left off. What shocked me most was how calm everyone seemed through the entire process. I guess this was not too far out of the ordinary because no one else seemed startled at all.

Moral of the story, always be on the lookout because a funeral may find you when you least expect it.

Bryan Clifton

Oklahoma City, OK