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