Those of us who have had the benefit of growing up with the consolation of the true faith, and I refer here to Irish Catholicism, know the importance of attending funerals. Whereas other children in my native Milwaukee spent their evenings at home watching TV, our family got in the car and headed off twice or three times a week to “make a visit,” at one of several of the area funeral homes. For some unenlighted persons, this may seem like a somewhat morbid childhood. They are mistaken. This activity gave me a sense of perspective concerning the reality of death and an appreciation for life. So much so that to this day if some silliness has my perspective out of joint, a quick drive through the cemetery and the consideration of the all the tombstones of important people along with the admonition heard today with the reception of ashes that we will return to these ashes, provides a sober reminder to keep things in perspective.