Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
When someone you love dies, you are given the gift of second chances. Their eulogy is a reminder that the living can turn their lives around at any point. You’re not bound by the past; that is who you used to be. You’re reminded that your feelings are not who you are, but how you felt at that moment. Your bad choices defined you yesterday, but they are not who you are today. Your future doesn’t have to travel the same path with the same people. You can start over. You don’t have to apologize to people that won’t listen. You don’t have to justify your feelings or actions, during a difficult time in your life. You don’t have to put up with people that are insecure and want you to fail. All you have to do is walk forward with a positive outlook, and trust that God has a plan that is greater than the sorrow you left behind. The people of quality that were meant to be in your life won’t need you to explain the beauty of your heart. They already understand what being human is----a roller coaster ride of emotions during rainstorms and sunshine, sprinkled with moments when you can almost reach the stars.
I went on spouting bullshit Encouragements as Gus's parents, arm in arm, hugged each other and nodded at every word. Funerals, I had decided, are for the living.
Everyone was eating, talking softly, glancing at me, hugging me, eating. It was as if someone had turned the volume down. Everything looked normal, but the sound was muted. Death did this, set all this weirdness in motion, made people appear out of nowhere carrying casseroles, saying 'I'm sorry' over and over, death muffled their voices.
Perhaps because it seems so appropriate, I don't notice the rain. It falls in sheets, a blanket of silvery thread rushing to the hard almost-winter ground. Still, I stand without moving at the side of the coffin.
It's not what I'd want for at my funeral. When I die, I just want them to plant me somewhere warm. And then when the pretty women walk over my grave I would grab their ankles, like in that movie.
Death is a personal matter, arousing sorrow, despair, fervor, or dry-hearted philosophy. Funerals, on the other hand, are social functions. Imagine going to a funeral without first polishing the automobile. Imagine standing at a graveside not dressed in your best dark suit and your best black shoes, polished delightfully. Imagine sending flowers to a funeral with no attached card to prove you had done the correct thing. In no social institution is the codified ritual of behavior more rigid than in funerals. Imagine the indignation if the minister altered his sermon or experimented with facial expression. Consider the shock if, at the funeral parlors, any chairs were used but those little folding yellow torture chairs with the hard seats. No, dying, a man may be loved, hated, mourned, missed; but once dead he becomes the chief ornament of a complicated and formal social celebration.
A sea of red lights, and I slow down. My job now is to gather everyone together and tell them we have to let her go. I won't tell anyone over the phone, because I didn't like hearing the news from the doctor that way. I have maybe a week to handle the arrangements, as the doctor said, but the arrangements are overwhelming. How do I learn how to run a family? How do I say goodbye to someone I love so much that I've forgotten just how much I love her?
A premature death does not only rob one of the countless instances where one would have experienced pleasure, it also saves one from the innumerable instances where one would have experienced pain.
Most human beings would have never been pained by the death of a human being if they had never seen a human being or pretending to be pained by that.
Death would not surprise us as often as it does, if we let go of the misbelief that newborns are less mortal than the elderly.
Attending a funeral would leave the average person insane, if they truly believed that sooner or later they are also going to die.
The fact that you have just buried your parent or parents and/or sibling or siblings does not make you less likely to die today.
Some people will each start investing more of their salary on ‘their’ house and spending less of it on ‘their’ car or cars only when they start being able to take ‘their’ house to work, funerals, weddings, etc.
Republicans know well that a change of rhetorical pace is necessary. But efforts by their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.
A funeral is like a little game, really. You have to just play along and say the right thing and behave the right way until it’s over. Be pleasant but don’t smile too much; be sad but don’t overdo it or the family will feel worse than they already do. Be hopeful but don’t let your optimism be taken as a lack of empathy or an inability to deal with the reality. Because if anybody was to be truly honest there would be a lot of arguments, finger-pointing, tears, snot, and screaming.
Perspective is as simple as answering this question: If I had 5 months to live would I experience this problem differently?
Samson caused the house to collapse, knowing his death would also result. Despite Samson’s deliberate suicide, Samson died faithful after having judged Israel for 20 years. His name rightly appears among men who, through faith, were made powerful. (Jg 15:20; 16:29-31; Heb 11:32-34) We are surrounded by thousands of unseen cruelties, that mostly go unseen. The total amount of suffering each year is beyond comprehension. This world is barbed, dangerous and painful—too painful for some. Give them their space. On any given day, your nod of approval may perpetuate cruelties that rasp away at the soul of another. We are all bound together in this delicate web of consequence. Tread light. Be kind. Many among us make unseen bargains to push ourselves onward—another hour, another day, another week. Occasionally their bargains create a deadly, unstoppable momentum. Consider King Saul: When he realized that he would not survive his final battle against the Philistines, rather than letting his enemy humiliate him, or extort Israel, “Saul took the sword and fell upon it.” –1Sam 31:4pg 75
Do you really think anyone needs some kind of notarized statement saying 'Dear Saint Peter, here's another stiff, pass him through the gates, signed, Father McGonnigill.'...'PS: He once had a hot dog on a Friday, but don't hold that against him.'
People can act so nice, bringing you food and all, but in the end they are nothing but buzzards. Waiting to pick your bones.
This stupidity of sounding a siren and speeding through traffic with a coffin must be an African speciality.
Yes, it was a beautiful sermon, tugging the emotions and conjuring up pictures of greatness and peace. But were they talking about the decent peppery ordinary old man he knew, or had the subject strayed to the story of some saint of the past? Or were there perhaps two men being buried under the same name? One perhaps had shown himself to Ross, while the other had been reserved for the view of men like William-Alfred. Ross tried to remember Charles before he was ill, Charles with his love of cockfighting and his hearty appetite, with his perpetual flatulence and passion for gin, with his occasional generosities and meannesses and faults and virtues, like most men. There was some mistake somewhere. Oh well, this was a special occasion...But Charles himself would surely have been amused. Or would he have shed a tear with the rest for the manner of man who had passed away?