You bet! Not to say they aren’t sad, there’s also a lot of grief that loved ones are feeling. I even see anger expressed at times. But to find joy in the celebration of a life well lived can be uplifting, meaningful and help us find the peace we need to walk into our tomorrows.
I officiated a funeral recently for a gentleman I only met through the memories shared. I so wish I could have known him. Memories of children having to mow and pull weeds and the laughter they had throwing weeds and dirt at each other; the grandchildren telling me they’ll miss “hanging out with Grampaw” were only a couple of times filled with laughter. His one daughter (with four brothers!) was smiling when she told me that he was definitely gentler with her than with the boys. And by golly we had a room full of laughter when the stories of his tomatoes were recounted. This picture is a display they had at the funeral gave essence to the one story of selling juicy red “tomatoes” for sixty cents a pound – not even knowing as kids that the sign was misspelled.
Yes, in the midst of tears, Dick’s family received the gift of Joy as they celebrated all the fun times of Dad’s life. I was told by one family member that the funeral was one they would cherish always for how it lifted him up.
Another funeral followed by a burial celebrated all those delicious M&M’s Grammy always kept on her coffee table (the Moms sometimes wondered if it was intentional that their mom gave the kids sugar before sending them home. ). It is custom in some traditions for the officiant to toss a handful of dirt on the casket as it is being lowered. The pastor at this funeral tossed a handful of M&Ms instead! And he had enough to share so that everyone in attendance could add a handful to ensure Grammy had plenty to journey with her. Several in attendance commented how wonderful it was to end with something that was sure to bring smiles to their faces for year to come.
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