Funerals, feet and forgiveness

Why can’t we all treat each other like we treat the dearly departed at funerals?

That thought recently came to me as I left a friend’s mother’s memorial service. I did not know the deceased, but I know her daughter, and I know they have had a stormy history. The memorial mentioned nothing of that, of course, and was a very beautiful service. Many relatives spoke and shared their memories.  I actually enjoyed hearing the funny stories about her and by the end of the service, felt like I had an idea of what she was like.

I’ve also been to funerals where I do know the dearly departed was not-so-dear, but that’s never mentioned either.  People exaggerate at funerals.  They take the best qualities and celebrate them.  The worst ones, I guess, are forgiven or forgotten.

At my new job, it is part of my duties to do the obituaries.  I don’t have to write them, the funeral home does that, but I do have to input them, edit them, price them, etc.  By now, I’ve read several.  Do you know that not one of them has had a mean or negative word to say?

I have always told my husband that I want the truth told at my passing.  I mean, if people are coming, I’m going to assume that some of them knew me, lived with me or worked with me, so why lie?

Tell it like it is…or was…

Stacey was extremely emotional, often crying at the drop of a hat, definitely cried during movies and sometimes at commercials, often embarrassing her children with this trait.

She put her foot in her mouth so much that she had to buy new shoes at least once a month because the old ones were soggy.

Stacey laughed too loudly and too often, this being proven by her reporting job, where she had to record interviews.  EVERY ONE of them she is recorded laughing in, often when it was not appropriate.

She was insecure, even though she tried not to be, her entire life, to the point it was annoying to others.

Stacey was at times hateful, vindictive, and unforgiving.  The cat sometimes didn’t even like being around her…and Stacey was the one who fed it!

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I could go on, but you get the point.  I realize that as much as I request these things be said at my parting, they will not.  Funerals are not really about the dead.  They are about the living.  The ones left behind, mourning a loss, who know that they do not have a chance to go back, so they are  looking at the BEST in each other and forgiving the rest.

Maybe it is a lesson we could use for those living around us.  Look for the best in each other and  forgive the rest.

What would you like said at your funeral?

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3 thoughts on “Funerals, feet and forgiveness

  1. In my weekly newspaper days, I edited and occasionally helped write a lot of obits. The newspaper printed (and still does) all obits where the dead person has a strong connection to the area: grew up here, lived here a long time, came here for 40 summers, etc. Theoretically there was a length limit, but it wasn’t often enforced. There was, and is, no charge. Sometimes I wrote the obituary based on details from the funeral home and perhaps a phone conversation with the family, but most were written by family members — and many of them were wonderful evocations of the person’s life and character. The obits are probably the most eagerly read section of both local papers, with the possible exception of the district court report. 😉 I usually recognize at least the name of everyone who’d died, and whether I do or not I always skim down to where the survivors are named. I don’t always know who’s related to whom, or who used to be married to whom, so it’s good to know where I should offer my condolences.

  2. Wow, I love your version of the obituary! It’s so human and love able! If my faults could be put in such a way, I don’t know that I would mind. Thank you for showing a lighter way to appreciate the “bad.”

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