gentle reader, i would love to be able to tell you this was my own idea but it isn't.
i saw an article in the last few weeks that talked about this.
i had an aha moment when i read it.
because it soooo hits home.
i've been to a lot of funerals, services, celebrations of life, etc...whatever you choose to call it.
great-grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles, patients, and even friends.
some of those services have been very small...only a few people to very large...standing room only.
my dad's services were on september 21, 1991. it was held at the funeral home. it was standing room only.
i remember sitting at the front of that room. just mere steps away from his casket. i remember turning to see the room just before the service began.
i remember thinking, holy shit, there are a lot of people here.
i knew my dad knew a lot of people. he was a people kinda guy. his jobs had always connected him with a lot people.
my gearhead friends knew him from running gm auto parts for years.
i remember thinking how kind it was for people to take the time out of their day...to take time away from their work, school, families or whatever it was they spent their day doing...to pay their final respects to my dad.
now, here is the important part.
the most important part.
we received a lot of cards and flowers.
some were from people that attended the service and some were from people that did not.
it's easy to grab a card, sign your name, put a stamp on it and send it on its way.
it's easy to call the florist and order a floral arrangement or live plant to be delivered to a specific address at a specific time.
don't get me wrong. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. and it means a lot to the family that you thought of them in any manner what so ever.
but that is easy.
it really is.
the hard part?
is re-arranging your schedule to be at the service in person.
that is the hard part.
and that is the most meaningful part.
because it brings a lot of comfort to the family to look around that room and see the people that felt it important enough to re-arrange a few hours of their day to be there.
you don't attend a service for yourself.
you don't really attend the service for the deceased.
you attend the service for the loved ones left behind.
to show your support to them in their time of sorrow.
i can't tell you the names of everyone that was at my dad's service but i sure can tell you the name of a few people that did not.
i will be honest and tell you that i have not always made time to go to the funeral.
when my best childhood friend's brother passed away, i regretfully did not clear my schedule to attend the funeral. it makes me incredibly sad whenever i think about it. it also genuinely embarrasses me.
i refuse to feel that way again.
bestie, if i have never told you, and you happen to read this, please know that my heart aches that i was not there for you.
i'm not proud of that.
not at all.
i have been to two services in the past two weeks.
i have made a commitment to myself and those in and around my tribe.
i. will. go. to. the. funeral.
i truly hope you join me in this commitment.
it's an important one for sure.
i am grateful:
- for the consciousness to make the commitment to always go to the funeral
- for every person that attended my dad's services
- for every person that was not able to attend my dad's services but still thought of him anyway
- for every floral arrangement sent to dad's service
- for every card received
just breathing isn't living!