Friday, April 6, 2012

Funerals


Day of the Dead Dolls



As of today I will have attended three funerals in 10 months.  The first, in May, was for my daughter’s friend, Will, who was a victim of the tornado.  In January I attended a funeral for my 29 year-old nephew, Matthew.  And today I am saying good-bye to my mother-in-law.

Funerals are, as they say, a necessary evil.  No matter how you slice it, it is always difficult to say farewell to someone who left an indelible mark on your life. 

Funerals are also a way to bring a community – whether it be a country, a city, or a family – together.  As we reflect on the deceased’s life and the value of his or her contributions to the world he or she inhabited, we are also afforded an opportunity to mourn the loss of someone we knew and loved.  In our Christian-Judaic culture, funerals provide us an acceptable time and place to shed our tears of sorrow.  The ceremonies surrounding funerals bring order to an otherwise chaotic moment in time.  The formal send-off also helps bring closure, and finally acceptance, to the fact that a loved one has passed on.

Families and friends come together to offer each other comfort through eulogies and embraces.  Comfort food warms our hearts and our souls as we ponder the reality of death.  Flowers and plants remind us of the beauty that remains in the world.  And we are forced to confront the truth of our own mortality.

So, today I will say goodbye to yet another loved one, but I will also reflect on what life means to me and how I intend to embrace the certainty that my time here is not infinite and I must therefore use it wisely.


Do you have a "bucket list"?  Have you crossed off any items on it yet?

13 comments:

  1. I don't have a bucket list per se, but after turning 50 a little over a year ago, I found myself saying yes to doing things that I had been either hesitant to do or thought I'd never do. One of those things was running. Now I'm running almost 6 miles and loving it!

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    1. Wonderful! Some of my favorite success stories have been those from people who decided it was time to start saying yes to their dreams! Good for you - keep running!

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  2. It's a year since my mum died so this post attracted my attention. She's on my mind a lot. You don't appreciate how much you need someone until they're not there and I agree with your point about using our time wisely. It is limited - fact!
    A to Z of Nostalgia

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm glad you carry her memory with you, though. As was said at the service today, life is valuable because it is limited.

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  3. Second F is for funeral blog I viewed today. So sorry for all of your losses.

    Bucket list? It keeps growing :)

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    1. My original word for today was actually "forte". But then life happened and so, well, here we are....
      I love bucket lists, no matter how cliche they've become. I think we can only benefit from the realization that life is valuable and should not be taken for granted.

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  4. Well written. Short and to the point.
    Yes it is difficult, but I have noticed some families , how they take it in the stride.
    I had been to a funeral some years ago and was amazed to see that at the end of the day (almost midnight) all were talking about the grandfather who was dead and all that he had done through out his life, some amusing some interesting facts, and all the while they were laughing. I mean there is no point to sit around with a grim face and mop though out the rest of one's life.

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  5. Visiting from A/Z; so sorry to hear about the loss of your MIL as well as the other losses sustained this past year; it is the reality of life, but always hard to deal with when it hits home like this. I think funerals help with the closure process too; as hard as it is, but we do realize how final death really is :(

    I don't have a bucket list; something to consier maybe starting.

    betty

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  6. I'm really sorry you've lost so many people in such a short time.

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  7. WOW; how hard it is to have lost so many people in such a short amount of time. My heart goes out to you. My mother died 4 years ago and this year, for the first time, I shared a poem I wrote to get through the hard time. If you visit my blog you may want to check out The Empty Chair (March 31st post).
    Rhia from Five Minutes for Inspiration (about # 802 on A through Z Challenge list).

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  8. Thanks for stopping by - it has been a tough year, and I will miss these loved ones. Saying goodbye to those who leave too soon is always the toughest....

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  9. Hi Dawn .. sorry about these deaths .. particularly the two younger ones - that is when death comes way too early. It's important to live everyday as though it's our last .. even if we just do small unimportant things - we must do them well and happily - with thoughts - Hilary

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