That’s usually the parting line made by each maspid (speaker) in reference to the deceased at his funeral.
He’s only gone a few hours and we’re asking favors already.
And what are we asking anyway?
Reduced to its lowest common denominator, we are essentially putting in a bid for proteksia. The nifter (the deceased) has (hopefully) already gone to a better place and we are asking him to put in a word for us by whatever means such things are effectuated in Gan Eden.
The higher one’s place in Gan Eden the more influence one is presumed to have. And the more presumed influence the better placed one is to shake things up a bit. That explains why people flock to the kever of the Baba Sali to pray as opposed to making the trek to the gravesite of their uncle Morris, whose only distinction in life was that he drove a car for forty years without ever getting a ticket.
So what are we doing on our end to move our loved ones out if their cubicle so to speak, to a corner office from where they might be able to exert a little more influence?
Sad to say, not all that much.
The few dollars that we give or the learning that we do in the name of the nifter is a little something in the right direction that will no doubt serve to some extent to upgrade his accommodations in the Gan Eden. A nice touch this, but nice touches are not the stuff that serious elevation is made of. As in everything else, here too Hashem operates in midda keneged midda (measure for measure) mode.
Want to expand a loved one’s horizons in the Olam HaNeshmos? Then you have to expand yours in inyanai ruchniyas while you are still in this world.
Simply put, when you seriously grow in various aspects of your avodas Hashem, be it in deed or thought, you’re a different you, and as a consequence you occupy a different place in this world. And if you are a different you with a different place in this world then you have made the most compelling argument possible for the one you are asking to be a meilitz yosher to be placed in a position where he is better situated to actually be one.