Recently I learned to appreciate the value that can come to those who attend a memorial service in a funeral home. My observations from the previous entry continue here.
• Because those in attendance knew each other—and the person who died—this event felt like a final step in knowing more fully who she really was. A satisfying experience to complete all the years of positive and appreciative relationships.
• There were pleasantly surprising moments, surprising people, and surprising takeaways. (Perhaps we should think of funerals as surprising times of learning?)
• The family assembled more than the usual photo gallery. In our friend’s case, there were also many artifacts that marked her remarkable life of civic and political leadership. Things to look at, yes, but also items that we could touch and hold.
• Although this person died in difficult circumstances, there was little or no mourning about that fact. Guilt or remonstrance were nowhere evident. This was a celebration, through and through!
• Those who attended came early and stayed late. Mingling with family members, but also reacquainting themselves with each other. The whole experience felt like a family gathering, in the best sense of that term!
• The funeral home setting felt more approachable and familiar for those not accustomed to church settings or rituals.
I was deeply impressed at how God was obviously present in this place, among these people assembled for good and godly reasons. God’s will was done here; Jesus’ example was front-and-center; gratitude and joy were amply evident. People left the service feeling good about their friendship with this dearly departed spouse, mother and friend—and encouraged to carry on her legacy of selfless ministry in the world God dearly loves.
This service helped me to be mindful and grateful about my own life!
Thanks be to God….
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