Deliver us, please, from those insensitive funeral orators who discuss the deceased person in various terms, some glowing, others not, and then throw in something like, ``Now, I didn't personally know John (or Mary), but I understand he (or she) was a wonderful person . . . ''
Something that cloddish can cast a pall over a proceeding that otherwise might prove to be quite inspiring and complimentary.
So the pastor, or the speaker, did not know the individual firsthand. Can't the person in the pulpit quote others, and use anecdotes provided by family and friends, and avoid the ``I didn't know . . . '' phrase without sacrificing integrity or being considered dishonest? It seems the least one can do. It could be handled better than it so often is.
How many times have you been at a funeral and been quite pleased with the way things have gone in remembrance of a family member, friend or acquaitance, then had cold water splashed in your face when the speaker seemed compelled to distance himself from the deceased? Is it a coverup for lack of depth of knowledge about the life being discussed, or is it simply bad manners and thoughtless behavior?
So the preacher didn't know the departed. There are many ways to get around that without making the proceedings seem as if they came from a form letter and are being handled by somebody who just doesn't care enough to ease as much pain as possible.