January 21, 2008

To Honor a Life

Both my parents are gone. I've made scrapbooks of their lives. In between their birth and death certificates are as many pictures and other documents as I could scrounge up. Yesterday while I was tweaking my dad's scrapbook I started thinking about his funeral and I came to a conclusion.

We should have funerals while people are still alive.

Why do we wait until they're gone to gather and celebrate their lives? Both my parents' funerals were wonderful. Bittersweet, but wonderful. Friends and family gathered. Memories were shared. Stories told. People laughed and cried as noses and mascara ran.

Mom and Dad would've loved being at their funerals. They would've loved all the attention, for one thing. But they really would've loved knowing how the Lord used them to help others along the way. Mom brought so much laughter to her friends' lives. You never knew what she was going to say next.
And my Dad had a childlike faith that convicts me to this day. He was able to simply lay things at Jesus' feet and leave them there. He loved the Lord with all he had and was not afraid to tell anyone about Him.
My parents had lived long, hard lives and had gone through many things before they went Home. The Lord was able to use them to teach others so much about how to live. How to parent. How to hope and how to hang in there.
I wish I could thank them for some of the things they taught me. More than that, I wish they were here so I could pick their brains! I have so many questions about life. And many questions about their experiences.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a big "funeral" now? With all your friends and family present? You could all take turns going around the room thanking each other for everything. Tattling about each others' embarrassing moments. Laughing together. Remembering who taught you certain things and thanking them for taking the time to reach out to you. To love on you. Give to you. Just to be together and share what made each relationship special and even perhaps how you're more like Jesus, or you know Him a little better because those people were there.

3 comments:

  1. That's kind of what it was like at church on Sunday for Jeremy and Dad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I miss grandpa too.

    It's so hard to find old grouches who will slow down and just be there for us. In a couple of years, when you and dad are old grouches (instead of young ones), don't be too busy - OK?

    I bribed and angel and got his email address:

    frankrinella@grumpoldgrouches.hvn

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sniz stole my first comment--or beat me to it.

    When I was in my early 20s I moved to Indy from the Ft. Wayne area where I was the Youth Director at a church. I had the privilege of getting a "Going Away" party where folks did the same kind of thing. It really makes you feel good. So, this is what I propose for you, Judy. Stand up at church this Sunday and tell everyone that you're moving to England (so you can squeeze the Queen's head). I'm sure that we'll be willing to hastily put together an average or even better than average Good Luck Judy party with cake, ice cream and lots of comments from your soon to be former friends.

    It's "soon to be former friends" because that's what they will be when they find out you made the whole thing up. But it's still a great idea.

    ReplyDelete

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