The grammar of grief
Grief, I believe, is universal; and arguably unique to humans
Last week, I attended the funeral service of my friend, Yvonne. It was beautiful with touching eulogies, soaring music from the choir and a certain quiet dignity. This is different from the Hindu funerals that I have attended, with overt crying and other expressions of grief. Among the fishing villages in Tamil Nadu, there are (or used to be) professional wailers who are paid to weep and sing the folk song called oppari. These come to the home of the departed, beat their breasts and sing improvised songs. A typical one begins Kathirikai engaluku, Kailasam ungalukku, which means, “We eat brinjal. You go to Mount Kailash." The alliteration works better in Tamil. I tried researching other death rituals that are not religious but couldn’t come up with any.