I went to a funeral yesterday for the mother of a friend, that I had not had the opportunity to meet. As we were on our way in to the home, another friend commented on how she hates funerals. I quickly responded "me too, I always cry." (Well, duh! of course I always cry, it's a funeral!) It's funny, to me that every time there is a funeral, there is someone to say "I hate funerals." I have yet to hear someone say "I love funerals!" "I can't wait to go to another one!" and thankfully so, because what would that say about that person?!
This funeral had the usual: friends, family, music, prayer, verse from the bible that I can't help but think sounds weird being read instead of sung (♪there is a season..♪Turn,Turn, Turn by The Byrds)
One of the very interesting things, was that they read from "Grandma's journal." This was a journal that was purchased with questions to be answered by Grandma and shared with the little ones. It brought fabulous insight into and helped to celebrate this woman's life through her own words.
At the end of the service, the family announced that they had just found out that one of the granddaughters was pregnant. A gift of one life for another.
The family spent the day before baking recipes of their grandmother that had passed. This made for a great family experience, and some great sweets for me! Yum!
I know it's odd to be excited after a funeral, but I really walked away from this one feeling inspired. The family used this hard time to draw closer to one another, and create new memories. I love the journal idea, because too many times a life goes by without knowing anything about how they felt, or what they did, who they loved, what they dreamed of. These memories are the things that are important to pass on. (♪memories, like the corner of my mind...♪ Way We Were by Barbara Streisand)
A Grandparent's journal would make a great gift, either for a grandparent to complete, or from a grandparent to a grandchild to mark a special day, but you don't have to wait until you're a grandparent, start a memory journal now for your own child. There are many versions available, but the 2 below (1 for grandparent, 1 for mother) make it easy to answer questions, and include space to put letters, recipes, pictures, etc...
So, from a funeral of a woman I never met, comes an idea that I will never forget.
I still won't be saying "I love funerals!"