I went to a funeral Friday for the brother-in-law of my friends Torrey and Galen. He died of a heart attack at the age of 46. To someone half that age, it may seem sort of old. But to those of us who have passed that point, it seems very young. I can't imagine how young it seemed to his mother as she accepted the flag from the honor guard. Here are some random thoughts stirred by my time at the funeral;
Serving as the preacher who is expected to encourage the family and exhort us all to be prepared is a difficult task, especially if you do not know the deceased well.
Brad Sullivan is a good man.
People are kinder and talk about more important things at funerals.
Sometimes a death brings out courage that was previously unknown. The daughter, sister, and brother-in-law that spoke Friday demonstrated love and courage in three distinctive manners.
Some people are thoughtless anywhere.
It is healthy to attend a balance of funerals and celebrations.
Even though I know they are shooting blanks, it bothers me A LOT that the honor guard pointed guns toward people during the 21 gun salute.
Although I am not a military veteran, the playing of taps still gets to me.
I have learned about myself that when I attend a funeral, I feel the need to stay around and talk to people to get closer to them. O.K., not just at funerals--but it is exaggerated then.
I could never be a casket salesman. It seems terrible to take thousands of dollars from a bereaved family and utilize guilt to drive them to spend more when a simple box will do fine.
And this thought that occurs to me at all funerals--I am going to die, relatively soon. And I have reached the age that most folks would not be shocked. It is too late for me to die young.