In the last couple weeks, I've been to two Catholic masses in honor of the deceased: one funeral, one memorial service, but the only difference was whether the remains were present.
One was for B's niece's mother-in-law; the other for onyxlynx, who was part of a social circle I'm on the edge of. At the first, the eulogy was given by her son, who told of his mother's harrowing childhood in China, of which I'd known little; at the other, by her sister, who told of family gatherings back on the east coast, a part of her life I'd also not known, even unto the name she was known by her family, never heard among her friends.
In both cases the departed was a woman with a background and character far different from my own, and whom I did not know intimately; but who was friendly and welcoming and interesting, whom I could converse with easily and was always a pleasure to see. Who brought, as I said of onyxlynx before, texture to my life.
I wanted to honor and commemorate their lives, and let their loved ones know that others, too, missed them. And that's why I was there, yes?