Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Sad Farewell

The husband of a friend from church passed away on Saturday night. This morning I interpreted at his funeral service. Songs of farewell sung by a friend of the family. A funny and endearing eulogy given by his sister. A message of hope from the Pastor.

I sat there looking at the shell that used to house his spirit. I thought of the times I'd spoken to him, hugged him, and watched him love his wife. I tried not to think about the pain he suffered as his life came to an end. He was a man whose life was not easy. He served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Sadness and anguish, rather than goodness and mercy, seemed to follow him all the days of his life.

But his sorrows have ended. No more dialysis. No more cane. No more eyeglasses. No more pain medication. No more suffering for Bob.

As I sat there, tears streaming down my cheeks, I wondered to myself:

What songs will be sung at my funeral?

Who will preach and what will he say?

Who will tell the story of my life, my loves, my sorrows?

Who will attend and from whence will they come?

How old will I be? How old will my children be?

Who will explain that nothing in the world meant more to me
than my faith, my time alone with The Alone?

Who will be able to express my love for my husband, my children,
my friends, and my extended family?

Will anyone be able to capture my awe at the beauty of
this amazing world God created? The art I've seen,
the music I've heard, the books I've read, the places
I've traveled to, and the memories I have carried?

What about all my journals? Who will read them? Who will get
to know the real me, the one who laughed at myself, and cried
so often for others? The one who read so many books, took notes
on so many sermons, and sent out so many emails?

Who will discover all my stashes of soap, perfume, journals and pens?
Who will find all my gum and candy and power bars? Who will eat it all?
Just how much of a pack rat will I appear to be?

What about my collections of earrings, scarves, skirts, and cross necklaces?
Who will wear them all?

In the meantime, until that sad day arrives, I must make the most of the days that remain. I must live fully, laugh heartily, and love fanatically until the last. What will be said about me at my funeral will be based on what I do with my life on my way to that day, so I'm going to get up from this computer and go live!

I recently read a quote that said something like this, "Don't live in such a way that you arrive safely and calmly at your death." I like that.

Live with abandon. Live with joy.
No pity parties. No constant complaining.
There will be times of loneliness, yes,
but live the loneliness out loud.
Ask for help. Accept help.
Accept the hugs and support of friends.

While there is still time, celebrate life.
Celebrate love and laughter and friendship.

I'm off to celebrate my children - beginning with a big hug.
We'll see where things go from there.

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