Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Funerals of Friends Parents

I went to a funeral yesterday and one today for fathers of friends. Both died last Friday.

The funerals were both well done and one included a military honor guard complete with bugle and flag. It was most impressive and touching. The other was preached by a friend of the deceased who had known him for decades and had deep love and respect for the deceased.

Here are some thoughts that strike me from these two funerals.

  1. Get to know the older, good people around you. Go up to them and say hello and ask how they are doing. They have great stories to tell so find a time to listen. Both of these men had colorful, interesting stories and I would have loved to have known them better. I must do better at this.
  2. Make time to go to the funerals of your friends parents. It means a lot to you and to them. I've written a billion times on this blog about relationships and connecting with people in good and bad times. I'm glad I carved out time for both this week. Yes I had to cancel a lot of calls and meetings, but it was needed and I'm glad I went.
  3. Remember that there will be one of these for you one day. What do you want people to remember? What do you want to be known for? In today's funeral for Elmer, the final thought was that the deceased ended the church meetings he attended by always saying, 'be nice' which was exactly how the minister ended the funeral. It was great. Be remembered for that...
Life is short.  Pay attention.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you! I've actually enjoyed the last few funerals I've been to, learning more about people's lives. Of course they were all older people. Makes a difference!

  2. You make great points. As one who has recently lost a parent, yes, we do appreciate it when our friends come to their funeral. If we listen, we can learn a lot about what's important when we attend a funeral. Even better, I like your suggestion about making more time for older people in our lives. It might even be your own parents. We act like they are going to live forever and there will always be more time to spend with them. But then one day that time runs out when you least expect it, and regret is a sad thing to carry with you. If your parents are still alive, ask them to tell you stories about the things in their house...where they got them and why they are special to them. And whatever else they would like to talk to you about while they still can. Time is the best gift you can give them. If your parents are gone, there's no shortage of older people who would like some attention. Thanks for this reminder.