I have attended the funerals of my father's parents, and my own.
I do not remember my Bubby's (I think that's how you spell it: Jewish grandma) funeral at all. At my Zaida's, I remember how light the coffin was, and how I had my first drink with my father, a rye and ginger ale. There are gaps in my memory of this funeral.
I do remember the Rabbi placing my Zaida in the grand sweep of history: he came over from Latvia before 1900 on a flat raft on the North Sea--kind of like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, except the North Sea is not the Mississippi!
That was the best part of the ceremony for me. I was not happy, but it seemed my Zaida was part of things greater than himself--he was an atheist.
My father's funeral was a much different affair. As the eldest son it should have fallen to me to do most of the stuff. I couldn't. I lived in another city. I relied upon my father's accountant and friend--and my brother. It was a resonably Jewish arrangement, though my father was no more religious, though maybe less vehement about it, than was his father.
At the actual internment, I found, as principle mourner, a surprising relief: I took the clods of earth, and dropped them on his coffin, said goodby, and walked away.
My mother's funeral was quite different. Unlike my father's death, because he lived in a different city, I was present at my mother's. My brother was unhappy with the care I had given her--as if he had given her any, thinking, I suppose, that caring for our father, and being present at his death, entitled him to criticize.
Completely on my own for this one, I thought to do the thing with the clods of earth. Well, the funeral arrangers seemed never to have heard of the idea. They place a bucket of sand, as it turned out, nearby. It stuck to my sweaty hand; it was a hot, humid August afternoon.
Soon after that, my brother and I stopped speaking.
It took years to get my life back to some semblance of life.
Yet, I have no regrets, either about my care for my mother, or about how I still feel about my brother. I worked hard for my mother--and as hard as I was able for my father, and even my brother, though I was here, and they were there.
I have no regrets about what I did. Any failings in my life towards my mother--probably some--I burned off in caring for her.
Funerals should be a celebration, after all, they are for the living. As blowdart has commented, those who have died are part of me.
All things considered, things could have been worse.