Forgive me for a moment, as this is going to sound a little morbid, I love funerals. Don’t get me wrong—I don’t love people dying. I love celebrating their lives, and honoring all the ways they blessed, and enriched our lives. I honestly feel, when someone has lived a great life, that their funerals can be every bit as motivating, and inspiring as a LDS conference talk. And heaven always seems to be so close. Plus there is always the bonus of seeing so many friends and loved ones!
Wednesday we buried my cousin Cherie. Her funeral was exactly like this. The talks given were inspiring and uplifting. The songs sung were touching and poignant. I couldn't believe how well everyone held it together. My amazing cousin Julie (Cherie’s older sister) had to sing, give the life sketch, then sing again. My uncle sang “Turn Around” and stated that it was a lullaby for Cherie, and we could listen if we wanted to. He added a third verse about turning around and your little girl is eternity bound. Oh, it was heart breaking for me.
Her three sisters sang “Consider The Lilies.” I had never really listened to the words of that song. It is now one of my favorites. At the end of the song, one of her sisters (I think it was Kim) let out a big sigh and triumphantly whispered “we did it!” I couldn’t believe it the courage everyone displayed. My favorite part was probably when her husband spoke, and talked about how they met. He talked about winning the jackpot in wives, and how much she improved his life. I want to be a wife like that. Of course, how much she loved her children was paramount in everything that was presented. I want to be a mother like that.
Being inspired doesn’t mean a whole lot if you don’t take home part of the message, and let it change your heart. Cherie’s funeral was a reflective experience that caused me to meditate a great deal on my own life. What kind of legacy would I leave? What would people say about me at my funeral? What songs would they sing? What would my obituary say? When all that is left is the memories, what will those memories be?
The thing is, it could all be over for any of us at any given moment. Those that may be terminally ill or elderly, have a clue that they may be near the end. The fact of the matter is that it might be all over for me today. I might not make it home from church today. Every moment might be my last. I can’t walk around with the outlook that every time I see someone, it will be my last moment—I would be a constant-melty mess! Yet I can work harder to appreciate the gift that every day is.
I want to be a better wife, a better mother, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, and mostly a better daughter of God. (And I want "One More Angel in Heaven" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat sung at my funeral in full twang!)