Every funeral throughout your life gets harder. Your cumulative memory of each past funeral remains, and comes rushing back. As you age, the deaths come closer to you and the fear of the next one grows. Your grandparents; your parents; your aunts and uncles; your friends, cousins, and siblings. God forbid your children.

According to my great aunt's obituary, she is survived by 27 nieces and nephews, and that's only counting my father's generation. And that's only counting the Kane side of the Kane side, not the Benjamin side of the Kane side, which is about as large.

My dad played a big hand in organizing the funeral. The funeral director told him that most older folks who die without a partner or descendants have a small handful of people at their funerals; we had over 50.