All my life I’ve avoided funerals like they were catching. I never got much solace from them, and I didn’t think my absence disrespected the principal, the dead being rather indifferent on the subject.
I never realized the power of publicly contemplating a life well-lived until the lesson was forced on me by the death of an extraordinary woman.
It was a sunny Saturday last May; I drove out busy Geary St. to a funeral home in the Richmond. I was there to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Barbara Griffith: founder, teacher, critic and cajoler of the Sunset Writer’s Group, my writer’s group for the past few years.