In our culture, even in this era of extreme openness, there are still some things that we keep private. Last year when my father died, I remember asking my mother if she wanted an open casket at the funeral. And while she wanted it open, there is a feeling of vulnerability when your loved one is laid out for people to see, even if those people are friends and family.
So when you see a culture that performs its funeral rituals with complete openness, it is sobering as well as shocking. I wasn’t prepared for it and that made it more unbelievable. As it stands, I’ve thought about this funeral many times since we returned from Nepal two weeks ago.