Death is a Formal Affair

I went to a funeral recently. We’d been friends for almost twenty years and I can count on both legs the times I’ve seen him in a suit. It was odd to see him sleeping in a pine box and wearing formal wear. They say that death is the eternal sleep but I've never taken a nap while wearing a tie. The people behind me probably thought I was just praying but I was just trying to make sure, and I wasn't until I saw the cue ball scar above his left eye. He would have been more easy to spot wearing jeans and Nikes and with a beer in his hand. 

The Tibetan movie Mountain Patrol began with a sky burial which consists of the family dressing the body in ceremonial garb, and carrying it to the top of a mountain where the vultures waited. They strip the body and the vultures would do what vultures do. Talk about the circle of life. The more clean picked the body is, the more favored the person is in the afterlife. It’s an odd practice until you consider that Americans hand their loved one off to a stranger who drains their blood, fills them with chemicals, and puts them in a display box dressed in their Sunday best.