I’m going to get a little more personal than usual this week. I was out for two this week for a funeral. “Out” when you work for yourself is a relative term. I paid some invoices, answered some customer support emails and even contributed a tiny bit to DTNS.
But I didn’t do shows and I didn’t sit at my desk for two days. It was a big deal for me to make that call, and I thank my co-host and co-conspirator in podcasting Sarah lane for encouraging me.
Funerals are not something anybody enjoys of course but I’ve always been skeptical of them my whole life. Mostly because in my head they really didn’t do much for the departed. Even at my most religious I was skeptical of how much difference we all made to God in interceding on their behalf. And at my most atheistic, I reasoned that the departed was gone and didn’t care a lick. I tend to side with Grandpa Carl who used to say “Don’t waste your money just bury in the backyard.” To which my Grandma ‘Dele, would say “Oh Carl!” Every. Time.
But I’ve come to the conclusion over the years that funerals are important for those left behind. They help all of us not just mourn the dead, but reconnect. Which brings me to the funeral I went to this week.
It was for my wife’s uncle, whom we called Tito Jun. Tio is the Tagalog word for Uncle and Jun was short for Junior. Tito Jun was one of the people I always enjoyed seeing at family get-togethers on the Quinabo-Torres side of the family. He was an IT guy for the state but also just a friendly and fun guy to talk to. I’ll miss him.
I missed him this week in fact. Because while it was sad to say goodbye to Tito Jun, it was really good to see everyone. Work, life and COVID had kept us all apart for too long. I got to enjoy Tita Tess’s constant organization of pictures. My favorites are the ones where she does it as a selfie with herself looming large right up front. They’re the best. I got to see cousins and catch up with their college- COLLEGE!– experiences and workplace endeavors. My cousin Veronica even reminded me that we used to chat over MSN Messenger when I worked at CNET and she was still in elementary school, her telling me about the band SHINee and me showing her the CNET videos we were doing. Now she’s almost graduating in counseling and a total pro. Her dad, Tito Rolly is another person I always enjoy catching up with. You should see his car!! he says it’s not even his best work but it was fun. Looks great.
The point of all this is, that funerals, weddings, birthdays, I undervalued them all. And while the funeral was not fun. What funeral is. The reconnecting was. So despite having to impose on my co-workers and the audience, I’m very glad I took the time. I think it’s important for all of us to recognise that. You probably did already. But just in case. Here’s another reminder.
I’m only sorry I’ll miss the 40-day novena for Tito Jun on Saturday. But I’ll be reconnecting with another family in Austin, for Brian Brushwood’s Founder’s Day event. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there.