I recently attended a memorial service for a friend of mine, an acquaintance really. I sat on the front row as most pastors’ wives do. (I call it, “the cheering section.”) The pastor, my husband, looked so handsome in his gray suit and black, polka-dotted tie. (Watch out, Justin Timberlake!) He did a great job navigating the mourners through a sea of solemn songs, funeral scriptures, encouraging words and memories. When the service was finished he invited everyone to join the family for potluck. Then it was over; we had paid our “final respects” to this dear man.
On the way home, I couldn’t help but think about what my memorial would be like. (The subtitle for this blog is, My Random Thoughts; you were warned.) I also thought, as I often do after memorials, that it is such a shame that we all get together to honor someone after their gone instead of when they’re here to be encouraged by our kind words.
So here you have it- your mission, should you choose to accept it:
Pick someone you know. Invite them to out to eat. (There’s always food at a memorial.) While you are enjoying your meal together, say to them all the things you would say if you were standing behind the mic at their funeral. Then, find out more about them- the amplified version of the facts and events that would be summarized in their obituary- life’s closing paragraph.
Do they have pictures on their iPhone? Ask them to share them with you. I have books and books of pictures at home, but I keep a picture of the people that are most important to me on my iPhone. I’d be happy to show them to you; and yes, there is a story behind each photo. (Get the picture? No pun intended.)
So we have: food, kind words, personal information and pictures. There will most likely be flowers and music playing at the restaurant… hopefully smooth jazz. The only things missing from this kind of memorial are the tears, and they’re highly overrated anyway.