My neighbor John died last week, a very sweet man. He was also a Jehovah's Witness, and I just came back from his memorial service. There were some funny stories and then a fairly long sermon about God's promise of hope and a resurrection, stuff I no longer believe in. But it was a nice message, and I find myself comforted that all those in attendance likely found comfort. Does that make sense?
It occurs to me that memorial services are probably multi-religious affairs, at least compared to your standard weekly religious gatherings. Thus they are a nice place to practice, and death is a good thing to practice on. Death used to really bother me, which is really odd because I don't think dying bothers me much at all. But then I finally realized it's not death but the saying good-bye, and that's why I went to that service today. I need practice on saying good-bye to the dead.