The One with the Funeral
I went to a funeral last weekend and I couldn't get it out of my head — "Don't sing On Eagle's Wings. Don't sing On Eagle's Wings." It's one of those songs that gets me every time. The lyrics, melody, and vibe of the day hits you and suddenly you're that one sobbing hysterically in the pew. Who is that girl anyway? Probably me.
As we entered the church I joked to my sister-in-law, "I pretty much try not to listen to anything said at funerals. Stare off and think about other things and you won't cry." Looking back I realize I'm the kind of guy that laughs at funerals.
Anyway, to this she responded, "Yeah, I mean I think that's totally the way to do it. So long as you deal with it at some point." Which later was echoed by her cousin, "Don't let anyone tell you how or when to grieve."
Funerals are weird. We all know they're coming at some point but when they pop up we act surprised — as if God hasn't told us our whole lives that our days are numbered.
Sometimes this seems discouraging to me. Why wash your car only to get it dirty again? Why paint your nails only to mess them up before they're able to dry? Why go through the motions if we all reach a stopping point some day?
Ty's grandma Naomi passed away on May 17, 2016 — one week before our wedding. It was a hard weekend in Crawford, Nebraska, a place that had come to mean so much to us. We were so nervous for our wedding weekend and so bummed she passed before we could ever share our pictures with her — how dare God take her before we planned?
As the eulogy came to a close, Ty's uncle added, "Oh, and in one week Naomi's last grandchild will marry the love of his life and Mom will be there." And she was. We were overwhelmed with comfort on our wedding day and I can't help but think she caused my veil to blow in the wind during our first kiss. God didn't make her wait to see our pictures — he gave her the best seat in the house.
Ty's grandpa Vance passed away last week on October 26, 2016 — one year short of his 90-year goal. It was a hard weekend in Sutherland, Nebraska, a place that had come to mean so much to us. I tried hard to not listen to anything said at the funeral but I'll never forget the journal entry read during the eulogy.
My father-in-law spoke of Vance's love for family, his daily sunshine — his wife, his career goals and his only desire to please those around him every day. As the eulogy came to a close, my father-in-law added, "I'd like to close this gathering like Dad would have. Thank you for being here."
So tonight I dealt with my emotions. They came in a wave when I least expected them and prompted me to stop doing laundry and start crying over my keyboard.
Why wash your car only to get it dirty again? Why paint your nails only to mess them up before they're able to dry? Why go through the motions if we all reach a stopping point some day?
Life is hard and death is weird. But someone somewhere is hopeful you'll show up. They want to see your pictures and think of you as their sunshine. God has a plan for your motions and if you'd just be more gentle you wouldn't smudge your nails before they dry.
Thank you for being here.