Archived Story

Write Again … And just what will they say?

Published 9:39pm Monday, January 21, 2013

On the several occasions when I have been asked — honored — to offer a few words, a eulogy, at someone’s funeral, I view it as a genuine honor and privilege. To me, it’s akin to a sacred opportunity.
When doing this I try to keep my remarks brief — well, relatively brief for me — reminding myself that such a sacred service is not about me. Most definitely.
For my old friend Bob, who had not lived here in a number of years, I recall saying — it was expressly for his two sons — that of all the things a father could leave his children, their father left them the most valuable of all — his good name.
Of the many things of value Dave left, I feel the most precious of all was his unconditional loyalty to and love for his family. It was inviolable. Unwavering.
When the man who holds the highest elective office in our land spoke at the event to honor those who died, and those who were wounded, in the Arizona shooting by a lone gunman, he said (and I quote him as accurately as memory allows), “We should not measure the value of a person’s life by wealth, or power, or status, or fame. Rather, we should measure the value of someone by how well he (or she) has loved.”
It is said that at a traditional Irish wake and funeral, one should never say something about the deceased that isn’t true. Be it good or bad.
What would you, or I, wish said at our own funeral? What, indeed.
Now, that is the question. (To quote old Bill Shakespeare, kind of.)
For me, I think that when my time comes, perhaps the less said, the better. That we can’t be preached into heaven would seem to be a given.
That there will be a lot of music at my funeral would be my request. One of the songs, I hope, will be “I’ll Fly Away.”
“Some glad morning when my life is o’er, I’ll fly away. To a home on God’s celestial shore, I’ll fly away.”
Let it be.
APROPOS — “Regardless of how many friends you have, or think you have, the size of your funeral will depend (in large measure) on the weather.
— Unknown

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