“At the chapel, he began consoling the mourners, just as he had imagined. Those he embraced, inhaled alcohol fumes and did their best to ignore it. Compassion rules at funerals. Everyone is sorry. Everyone walks on eggshells, chooses their words carefully, feigns interest to cover boredom and whitewashes judgment with mercy. Everyone is concerned. The alcohol was losing its grip and so was David.”
- Loathe Your Neighbor ch. 21
A friend of mine died last month, three weeks after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Still in shock, we, his friends and family attended what was called a “celebration service”. I was heavy hearted as I parked my car and walked to the main entrance of the chapel where the service was to be held. A jazz band was playing out the front as a crowd lined up to sign the condolence book and enter. The chapel was full: all seats and standing points around the walls were taken. The hall took the overflow. The service was filled with laughter as we remembered a beautiful man of God who lived to show God’s grace to others. He knew why he had been born and where he was going when the job was done. I have never left a “funeral” feeling so inspired, almost happy. Sure we will all miss him but what a wonderful legacy he has left. What a wonderful picture of God’s love in life and in death. We have this hope, as Christians, that because Christ rose from the grave, and we believe in his resurrection power, we too will live forever. I know why some funerals I have been to were so depressing. No hope. Do you have hope for life after death?