Dressing in appropriate fashion

Published 10:38 am Thursday, June 2, 2016

So the last three funerals I went to I ended up serving as a pallbearer.

Actually, the last handful of funerals I’ve been to I served as a pallbearer.

It’s not because I was close to the deceased. In fact, they were all relatives of friends, and in some cases I had only met them once or twice in the last 10 years.

Once the trend occurred to me, I thought it was because I was among the younger men in attendance.

It’s probably considered a good thing that most of the funerals I attend are for older people. I’ve been to many, and there is something to be said for those we can say had a chance to live their life, pursue their dreams and see, and enjoy, the fruits of their labors. Especially when we remember that we all die — the only real questions being how and when, and they are both usually beyond our control.

Maybe the age of the deceased is part of the reason I’m often among the younger men; and, I assumed, the funeral director wanted some younger men to help carry the casket. I’ve never minded. I’ve always considered it an honor and a way of showing my respects to the departed and his or her family — one last chance to do something for them.

It took me a while to figure out that I was being selected because I was one of the few men wearing a jacket. Really! Usually, I’m wearing a gray or black blazer along with my slacks and tie.

Many people don’t wear a suit, and it seems that most don’t even wear a jacket anymore. Most just wear a pair of slacks or chinos, a white shirt and a tie — in the same color as the pants.

The manner of dress hadn’t surprised me. I noticed it years ago covering courts. Black or blue pants; white shirt, and, as I said before, a tie to match the pants. That’s it. That’s all. It was usually the defendants, and there were occasions when tags or stickers were still on the garments.

I guess it’s the same everywhere.

So now I go to funerals prepared to assist. I really don’t mind. I like wearing a blazer. It just makes me feel more appropriately dressed.   

Jamie C. Ruff is a reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch. He can be reached at jamie.ruff@kvdispatch.com.