Perhaps it was the lengthy eulogizing which preceded last night's farewell concert by "The Tragically Hip". Perhaps it was all of the passings of icons and friends which have marked 2016. Or maybe it was my own desire to avoid attending an upcoming funeral.
For whatever reason, I was led this week to a lovely article by Deirdre Sullivan at NPR on the importance of turning up for those things.
I think a lot of people avoid wakes, final viewings and funerals because they're not sure how you're supposed to behave. Everybody grieves in their own way and it's tough to know if you're offending someone by appearing either too upset or not upset enough.
Walking that tightrope is especially tough for those asked to speak at a funeral. Your fondest memory of the departed might actually be the last thing they or their loved ones ever wanted revealed, let alone shared in their darkest hour.
And appearing too flip or casual can make others wonder if you ever gave a damn about the deceased in the first place.
That fine line -- and what it reveals about us -- has been wonderfully captured in Jim Cummings' film "Thunder Road", this year's winner of the Short Film Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Festival.
A long-time Indy producer, Cummings became intrigued by a Ricky Gervais quote "It's never too late. Until it's too late. And then it's too late." and decided to try his hand at not only producing an original short, but writing, directing and acting in it as well.
The final product is not only a brilliant little film, it's touching and hilarious and encapsulates pretty much every emotion everybody feels at a funeral. It's also proof that being compassionate and considerate can be a truly miserable experience.
Enjoy Your Sunday...
Thunder Road from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.