We Call it a Celebration…

Okay, people: enough with the dying.

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been to at least five funerals, and had to miss several others. In March, I attended an average of a funeral every ten days.

One or two were for very elderly and/or people in poor health, so they weren’t entirely unexpected. One had a very fast growing brain tumor. She was gone less than two weeks after diagnosis. Two were accidents. One was a “widow-maker” heart attack.

Some were simple graveside services. One was a Catholic mass and one was an evangelical Presbyterian. One was an African-American, one was Scotch-Irish, one Italian.

Maybe because I attended so many in such a short amount of time, I’ve been able to do a microstudy of different funeral styles.

All claimed to celebrate the life of the deceased. Some clergy pleaded with God to admit their dead parishioner. Most were sure their loved one was admitted to heaven.

Some had old hymns, one had swing songs, one had hot rods, one had poetry, one had videos. One in particular felt like a true celebration. There were tears, yes. But the deceased was one of those men who is always working. I mean always working. The only time I saw him still and not moving was when he was laid out in his casket. His friends and family celebrated that his labor was finally over and God brought him home.

As much as we say we celebrate the “home going” of a believer, there is often unfinished business, especially if the deceased is young or leaves a family. They leave behind fears of the future, especially is they were the breadwinner. There may be sadness over what will be missed in the future: weddings, grandchildren, graduations.

I’m sure about one thing: There is eternal life. The only thing in doubt is where you’ll spend the portion after you leave this earth.


Last book: Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs

Last movie: no clue…

Today I prayed for: Amy, the Murdoch family.

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