thankful thursday: the funeral edition

by jenn on July 12, 2012

I love a good funeral, it’s just a shame that someone has to die for it to take place.

Last Monday my Aunty Normal died after a battle with emphysema. She would have been 80 in early September… missed out by a whisker.

I love celebrating the lives of our loved ones. I love eulogies and reminiscences. It’s a shame that we are so busy these days that we don’t take the time to sit down, ask questions and really learn about our loved ones. It is a shame that we find out so much more about a person at their funeral than we take the time to share during their lifetime, but I love that funerals allow us to avoid missing that boat. I love that we can share our memories, stories and experiences and by doing so honour the lives of those we have lost. I love that in sharing we enrich and expand each others memories, so that those that have died can continue to live on in us.

I love my cousins on my mum’s side of the family. Between our generation and the next there are loads of us – 14 cousins, 23 second cousins and partners on top. Most live in South East Queensland or Northern NSW and a few of us are scattered in the southern states. In the cousin line there are 10 males and 4 females and our there is a 30 odd year age difference from oldest to youngest. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the last get together – it’s guaranteed to be a hoot.

The difference between weddings and funerals is that we have budgets and limitations with weddings, but a funeral is open to all and sundry. Sadly we have had too many funerals in our family over the last decade; some were expected deaths others were complete shocks to the system, but one of the postitives that have come out of these deaths has been the opportunity for us all to catch up.

I love that in experiencing death we are encouraged to examine our lives. One of the outcomes of our too many funerals over recent years has been the Cousin’s Weekend – one fixed weekend a year where we all make an effort to get together for a yarn and a good feed under more positive circumstances. Another positive came out of Norma’s funeral. I have one cousin with whom relations have been a little strained between our immediate families for a number of years. I read a variation of my memories during the service and afterwards my cousin came up to me and said ‘I am so bloody proud to be related to you’. Baby steps :)

Some might think that saying I love funerals is distasteful. My theory is that every body dies. It is an inescapable part of life. Death reminds us to live each and every day with meaning. It helps us to look for positives in an otherwise scary and devastatingly sad time. Death gives us a little nudge and says ‘Have you reached out to someone today? Have you told your kids/partner/parents that you love them? Have you stopped to smell the roses?’

Have you made today count?



Please pop over to Kate Says Stuff to get your gratitude hat on and embrace Thankful Thursday

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Pink July 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I am sorry for your loss and also I love your approach.


jenn July 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thanks m’lovely xx


Kim-Marie July 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Love this approach to life lived and lost. x


jenn July 12, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Thank you! x


katesaysstuff July 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Im so sorry for your loss Jenn, but I love what you had taken from it. xox


jenn July 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Thanks Kate x


Francesca July 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I’m sorry for your loss, but your perspective is wonderful.

On one side of my family, we’ve often said that we only ever see each other at funerals. It makes you realise how important family is, and also, how it’s often easy to just pick up where you left off.


jenn July 14, 2012 at 7:32 am

Thanks so much for stopping by :)
It sounds like I’m not the only person who enjoys the family catch ups!


Drivelology July 12, 2012 at 10:33 pm

While I am so sorry for your loss, the way you have approached it is truly heartwarming.
It definitely doesn’t hurt to stop and smell the roses – something I am definitely guilty of not doing as much as I should.


jenn July 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

I think we get so caught up in our day to day lives that the things that actually make our lived worthwhile are so easy to look past. I’m trying to br more mindful :)
Thanks for visiting!!


Kate @ Our Little Sins July 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

This post is awesome. I completely agree – I love funerals. I love that everyone is included {except at my grandmother’s as she chose a private funeral – not cool}, you learn so much, see loads of people and are reminded TO LIVE. There isn’t much about life, except death that reminds us to really live.


jenn July 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thanks Kate, such true words x


Mumsie August 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

morning ….thanks for the opportunity to cry and continue grieving. x


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