Let's continue on the theme of funerals. Shall we? I thought I might give you a brief peak behind the curtain of these services that a pastor provides. I did my first funeral when I was 19. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but in that time it seems I've seen everything from the comedic to the inspirational. I've actually entertained the idea of writing a book on these experiences because they are just that good! That is for another blog however.
When I receive a request to do some one's funeral or memorial service I make it a point to meet with the family so that I am able to help them in putting the service together. This meeting with the family is also crucial if I did not know the person that has died. I want to get know the person I will be eulogizing. I usually just bring a pen and a journal and ask the family to just begin to share. I say, "I'd like to just be a fly on the wall as you remember him or her through stories and descriptive words." Can I tell you that these meetings are either vastly moving or grotesquely shallow. When being summed up by those closest to you they can only share what they've experienced. (Side note: People do have a tendency to deify the person after they've past wanting to only remember the best about the person.)
Here are two contrasting lists of descriptions of family members of their loved ones:
Unbending integrity He could really eat
Invested in others Had a great golf swing
Very generous with his time and money Made a lot of money
He loved God with all his heart He really loved his boat
He put his family first He cussed like a sailor but he was so funny
One of the most heart breaking things I have to do as a pastor is listen to a family share about their loved one and continually tell me as they share, "you don't have to put that in there."
My question to you faithful reader is what do you want to be said about you at your funeral? Once you've answered that question I'd ask this: Are you living in such a way now that people would say those things.
Live with your last day in mind and you should be fine.