I actually enjoy attending funerals.
Thats an interesting way to begin a blog, but I have had the privilege of attending the funeral celebration of a friends mother recently.
Once again, I found myself reflecting and wondering as I, along with the others there, looked at the photos on the powerpoint – photos which depicted just a small part of her creative and busy life.
It made me wonder what photos people might choose to put up on show when my time here on earth has gone. For my life has been through many facets and changes. I haven’t lived mostly in the one town, I have had a life of moving around quite a lot. So therefore I cannot claim to be a life time member of some such group, or other.
I haven’t made the depth of friendships that some make, just because they have had a long time in an area, and therefore become well known.
Not being a committee type of person now days, its unlikely there will be a guard of honour as they carry me out.
This isn’t the first time I have found myself wondering after attending a funeral service, the words “What will they say about me?”
The claim to have been married for fifty years or more to the same person doesn’t apply – for I am in the realm of having had an extra husband. Nowdays I fit in the realm of being a “separated” woman. Ouch.
Its not so uncommon, there are a large number of us out there.
Is it easier to tell the family not to have a big celebration? Rather have a quiet event with only those who really cared for me to be there? Or is that denying others the opportunity to share a bit of what they knew, or thought they knew about me?
I heard it said once that ‘Weddings were not for the couple involved, but for their friends to celebrate’. Maybe the same person thinks that about funerals too. They aren’t for the person involved, for they are no longer there in spirit or soul. So why have a funeral?
Is it really pleasing to a grieving family to have to be on show for an hour or two? To dig out of the closet a few family skeletons that some there may not even know existed?
It seems that funerals are more a money making gesture for the funeral parlours. Those who make the casket, the badge, the order of service brochures, the caterers and the list goes on.
Does the family make money from having a funeral service? No, it costs them, often way more than they can afford. Probably a lot more than the dying soul could ever have predicted.
Yet tradition says these need to be held, be it in a church, a home, outside, or at the funeral chapel.
Giving honour to those who have died is a roaring trade. Even our ANZACs live on in our annual ANZAC services held around the country.
Perhaps the real reason for a funeral is to allow people to think of their own mortality. To think of the way they would live if they knew they had a short time. (Think of the ‘Bucket List’ a recent movie made on that very subject).
If we knew the day and the time, we would certainly be more prepared. We would prepare our families, but more than that we would make sure our own ‘house is in order’ – not our physical house, but our spiritual house. The part of our being which is eternal. The spirit and soul that will meet with their maker and have to answer to every thought, deed and word said or done during our lives here on earth.
Jesus himself said to “Be ready for we do not know the day or time of his coming”. A sobering thought – but those of us who know Jesus, look forward to meeting face to face with him one day.