Celebratory Life

No one every enjoys going to the funeral home in the wake of someone dying.  It is met with dread and the uncomfortable feeling of what to say to the loved ones.  This past week, we have been in the throes of being in that capacity.   My husband’s Aunt Jean lost her beloved husband, Ernie after a lengthy illness.    So in the process of the lingering sorrow that one feels during these times, it turned into a comforting experience.

The irony of a funeral visitation are the reunions that happen, new friendships that emerge, and  a camaraderie among a group who were brought together for one purpose…..to honor the deceased.   While many of us reflected on the last time seeing each other was at another funeral, we embraced the time to reconnect.   Of course, we would all rather meet under happier circumstances, but this was a gift to be able to gather together.

The funeral encompassed his wishes of no speaking, just singing.  It  comprised of four hymns led by Ernie’s son with Ernie’s sister-in-law, Mary Kay playing the organ.  With the strike of the keyboard and the lull of the singing, I imagined Ernie was enjoying a concert preformed specifically for him.   Ernie was a people person.  He never met a stranger and was eager to greet you with an joke and a hard piece of candy that he referred to as “sex pills.”

Despite the sadness we feel when we lose someone, these moments allow us to really immerse ourselves into the connection we have with others. It reminded me that despite the dread that accompanies a final goodbye, there are always hidden blessings that emerge.  There is humor to be found and, of course, tears to be shed.   Most of all it is a life worth celebrating.

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