Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strange Joy

I don't do a lot of funerals in my job, but one came up this week. A friend from church lost his father. So Wednesday I met with him, his mother and sisters. They laughed, cried, told stories; sometimes stopping to reel in emotions and corral tears.

Quickly I realized this was one of those guys that I missed out on. And quickly I could feel their loss and before we were done I was sincerely weeping with them. They talked, told stories and I took feverish notes.

Stories and details fresh in my mind, I went back to my office to put it all together. I had thoughts like, "Wow, what a life well lived...what a positive legacy." And quickly the joy of it hit me: I get to creatively recap a great life. I get to be the family storyteller...

(It has probably helped my perspective having done a funeral whereupon the family had no real stories to tell me; I'm not exaggerating.)

So there is a strange fun--a strange joy in the celebration of a life that really impacted people. A life that made people better. A life that leaves a hole. It's an honor and privilege to be part of something so profound as saying goodbye to a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather.

A life well-lived leaves a strange joy for me--who gets to serve this family. Praying all will go well tomorrow...