Here’s the Thing About Funerals…
…I’ve never been to any two that were the same. There are so many variables that make funerals unpredictable. Weddings have a certain predictability to them, plus it’s typically a celebration. And though we often call funerals a “celebration of life” they mark a finality which causes the rest of us to take stock in our lives, causing some to make real changes and others to only dream about it.
Ever been to a funeral on a beautiful day? It seems odd, but maybe it’s how that person would have wanted it. And let’s face it, rainy funerals add to the grief, as if the angels are weeping, too. And what about length of service? The longest funeral I’ve attended was two hours and the shortest was ten minutes. Both were draining.
Ever have the assignment to write your own eulogy? They suck. Here lies a woman who loved her family and friends and a cold beer on a hot day. I usually get stuck right around here when I remember, hey, I don’t have to write my eulogy. Someone else will get stuck with that and I won’t care because I’ll be dead.
Ever been to a wedding that seemed like a funeral? Wow, those are both awkward and fun. I mean if you can’t have a good time with catered food and open bar, you might actually be dead. I’ve been to a few weddings where things between the in-laws weren’t great, but have yet to attend a wedding where a fight breaks out or the bride or groom run out.
Ever been to a funeral that felt like a reunion? I was at one like that over the weekend. I felt kind of bad being so happy to see everyone I hadn’t in a few years. This individual reflected the best decade of my life, both intellectually and spiritually. But here’s the thing, while I was living that decade, I didn’t realize how idyllic and fulfilling it was. So why everyone was still dabbing their eyes at this reception, I was smiling and telling people how great it was to see them.
Ever meet someone who never takes a single day of life for granted? Yeah, me neither. Why can’t big markers in our lives, like wedding and funerals, divorces and promotions, have the same amount of importance as a lazy day on the river or a board game with family and friends? It doesn’t always work this way, but there is beauty in the mundane, we just need to recognize it and that’s hard to do. I think funerals are our reminders to wake up and enjoy what time we have left.
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