Warning: This is just the ramblings of an old errrrr older southern woman. Yeah that’s right.
I attended a funeral this past week. A young woman in our town passed away. I was not a good friend of hers but her daughter was part of my work staff. My husband was work friends with her husband so yes I knew her. I knew that she was an amazing woman, mother, wife, daughter, aunt, friend, co-worker. This woman was only 40 years old with so much life ahead of her. She was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago and before anything could be done she died.
I do know that this woman was loved. You could hear it in every comment, every tear that was shed, every story about her, every hug to her family and in one way or another every person that was present.
There were hundreds of people there to pay their respects. The small funeral home in our hometown was probably overwhelmed with the amount of people crammed into this small building. Actually there was a line of people that wrapped around the building. In the south we call this “the receiving of friends” it is usually held in the evening for a couple of hours and then the graveside service is held the following day. You go to the local funeral home and stand in a line and socialize with people you haven’t seen in a while and make the obligatory remark “It’s good to see you I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances” and “why must we wait until times like this to get together?” Yes why indeed? You may hear comments like “ohhhh the flowers were amazing” and “we couldn’t believe the turnout”.
Do you ever wonder who will come to your funeral? Do you care? I am curious. I know this probably sounds narcissistic but don’t tell me it hasn’t crossed your mind. I think this is something that comes to mind when you realize you are probably more than halfway through your life.
Does the good works of someone or maybe how many friends they have or what they have contributed to their community determine how many people will come to pay their respects when they die? Maybe it is because they have a large family and lots of their friends are coming to pay respects. I know it isn’t the age of someone because it seems the older people get the less friends and loved ones they still have around. Does it matter? NO. You will not even know. But still I think about it when I attend a service.
Lord knows it can’t be based on how many Facebook or Instagram, or any other social media site, followers you have. You can run into “them” at the grocery store and they don’t even recognize you, or feel familiar enough to speak to you.
My husband refuses to attend most funeral services. I tried to explain that it is not for the deceased but for their living family members. It is a show of respect for them. At least I hope this is some of what it means to most people.
Sometimes I think we attend because we think we should. I certainly wouldn’t want someone to attend my funeral because they “think they should”. If this means only two or three really close friends or family attend mine then I’m ok with that. And I hope they bring balloons and ice cream and cake. And daisies. Those are all my favorites. And even if I can’t enjoy those things then I will know that someone else has.
Love your day your way!!!