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Saturday, April 6, 2013

F is for Funerals


“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?

8 comments:

  1. Sorry for the loss of your friend. Sounds like a beautiful service though.

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  2. I'm sorry about your friend. A jazz band is a lovely touch for a memorial service, I think.

    Jenny at Choice City Native

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    1. Jazz won't be my choice. I'm a metal head. I wonder how that would go dwon with attendees at my funeral.

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  3. So sorry about your friend, David. The service sounds remarkable. The focus on loss has always been difficult for me to understand. Funerals rarely bring closure, they only bring more pain. I've been to many, including my parents', where the time spent remembering is mired in tacit acceptance that the loved one or friend is gone forever. This seems so wrong. The individual's legacy—and the key word here is legacy—is all but ignored in the pall of mourning. It seems an utter violation of faith.

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    1. Well said. I've been to funerals like that as well. Most of them have been like that which is why I was so blown away by this one.

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  4. Sorry for your loss! Great post! I am glad you were able to find peace with his passing though in knowing the outcome! Thanks for sharing and good luck this month!

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    1. Thanks Dusty, for the comment and the visit. I appreciate it.

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