Some people hate funerals. I find them comforting. They hit the pause button on life and remind us that it has an end. Every eulogy reminds me to deepen my dash, that place on the tombstone between our birth and our death. ~ Regina Brett
The other day I was sitting in a hospital room with my best friend, who'd been in surgery the day before, and with her family, marking the slow passage of the hours of recovery, during which doctors and nurses cycled through and checked tubes and monitors.
It sounds a little morbid, but the conversation turned to funerals. We were talking about caring for others in their joys and sorrows and afflictions. I was reminded of this post from my previous blog, Why Me?, which providentially was written three years to the day prior to that discussion.
Last week, during the bitter cold days that seem to no longer call for school cancellations or delays, I attended a funeral for a man I’d never met. It’s a little unusual, but it’s not unheard of. The deceased was the husband of someone I am acquainted with. His children are generally the same ages as my younger three, and they know one another, however not as anything more than acquaintances.
So, what in the world was I doing at this funeral, and why did I think I had a right to be eating the food provided for the reception following?
A few days before, providentially, I had posted on Facebook an article by Dee Sullivan, originally posted at NPR, titled, “Always go to the funeral“. Sullivan’s father was the one who instilled in her the weightiness of the gesture, “You can’t come in without going out, kids. Always go to the funeral.” The author recalls a time as a teen attending the visitation of a former teacher, and how that was forever remembered by the woman’s mother. The weight in the chest that she feels even to this day I think I can understand. All I did was show up. It doesn’t take anything to do that, so please don’t thank me or make me out to be a good person. All I did was show up. It’s so uncomfortable being thanked for attending a funeral, but as Sullivan says,
“‘Always go to the funeral’ means that I have to do the right thing when I really, really don’t feel like it. I have to remind myself of it when I could make some small gesture, but I don’t really have to and I definitely don’t want to. I’m talking about those things that represent only inconvenience to me, but the world to the other guy. You know, the painfully under-attended birthday party. The hospital visit during happy hour. The Shiva call for one of my ex’s uncles. In my humdrum life, the daily battle hasn’t been good versus evil. It’s hardly so epic. Most days, my real battle is doing good versus doing nothing.
. . . . Read more at Why Me?
Laura Miller aka mrsdkmiller
Looking for a list of articles published around the web?
Looking for posts written in response to 5-Minute Friday prompts? Click here:
Her March Isn't Over
Across the River
When God Pries My Fingers Off My Children
Life's Defining Moments
To the Christian Wife Who Berated Her Husband in Front of My Daughter
Zeal and Grace in France
An Unconventional Love Story
Seeing What's in Front of Our Eyes
Remembering Why I Called You Hannah
Love Your Sister.
Because He Came Home
Go Valiantly! A Prayer for New Homeschooling Moms
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
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