What’s the point of this charade, this show you delicately stage for others, to gain what? their empathy? their condolences? How would sitting there watching strangers, supposed friends, whisper in awkward cautiousness make you feel any better? The situation remains. Only now you are burdened to conjure “thank you”s, more often than not snowballing into sessions of dreadful and uncomfortable pity talk. Nothing changes as a result of this choreography, so who are we putting it up for?
If you want closure, you say your last goodbyes while the man is still alive, not when he can no longer hear them.
If you want to hear from your long lost friends and relatives, you hold a wake.