On Funerals and Family
You get the call, text, notification of some sort that someone you love is no longer with us on this earth. Everything is put on hold in that moment. Things move so quickly you barely have time to process what actually happened. Flights are booked, bosses are notified, and the next second, you’re off to the funeral. You think about how much planning it takes to gather the people you love the most all in one place for a family reunion or a wedding but when something like a death happens, it gives you a moment to reflect. A moment to notice the speed at which the people you love show up to wrap their arms around you.
It’s in those simple acts of kindness that you are shown how much love is truly present in your life. Cards, flowers, or some of your best friends gathering to cook a delicious meal for all the out of town guests. You may come across a delicious gingersnap cookie with cinnamon frosting and edible glitter that instantly puts a smile on your face. You may see your grandmother pop a wheelie in her wheelchair so she could get out of the car at the cemetery to hold her sister’s hand. Even in an ice storm! Tears roll down your cheeks time and time again because you become so grateful of the people truly showing up just to give you their support.
It makes funerals almost enjoyable for a moment. I don’t mean that in any disrespectful manner. If you truly think about it, how often do you reflect on how this one individual impacted someone’s life? It’s heartbreaking to have that hollow space in your heart when it sinks in that you can no longer see this person face-to-face. But if it weren’t for the love and bond that you created, this hollow space would be non-existent.
This void is evident in each and every person that shows up at the funeral. It’s pretty remarkable that you can look back and observe that the church is standing room only. Wow, this person really made a difference. Isn’t that what we’re here to do?
Think about those you may have lost or those that are still with you. Can you pause for a second today to express gratitude for any individual who forever holds a place in your heart? They never really leave you as long as you remember them.
Thank you, Uncle Hugh for giving me the days to see love emerge in one of its most raw forms. Your family is strong and smiling for you down here. Love you. Rest in peace.