The comment caught me off guard, but I remember watching a TV show recently, where this kind of thing happened. The patriarch died, but during his fairly short lifetime, he was regarded with disdain, contempt and even condescension. His wealth was discovered after he passed away, and suddenly all his “failings” were forgotten and forgiven!
But even when no “material reason” is noted by the grieving community, people are often much more generous with their kind thoughts and comments, while petty quarrels, disagreements and even flaws are defended. Odd behavior or even peculiar habits are brushed off, while humor is found in their unique personalities.
As I considered the statement further, I found in an odd kind of way, she was right. Funerals bring people together to grieve. Love for one another overflows, differences between siblings or other family members are often set to rest (at least temporarily), and the best part about the person who has passed, is remembered.
I’m not sure I’d go so far to say, “I like when people die,” but I do enjoy the much more pleasant behavior of those who attend the funeral. The sad thing is, however, that rather than waiting until a person has passed to extend kindness and love to him/her or others, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could see past our personal smoke screens and extend the kind words and feelings when the person is with us?
I’ve seen people with huge regrets when a death comes suddenly and they are unable to share with the person lost how much they cared about them. Sometimes words are spoken in anger and there is never the opportunity to apologize, because life was snatched away without warning.
I can’t help but think about children/teens who are angry with their parents and say awful things to them before stomping out of the house. Life has a way of ending on short notice—on both sides – the parent or the teen. Or the reverse, where an angry, broken parent says words they later regret, but due to circumstances they could never have imagined, they can never ask forgiveness.
This scenario is not limited to parents and children, but spouses and friends. We are none promised one more single breath. Therefore, each word spoken, behavior exhibited or comment thought should be with the expectation, it could be the last time we are able to share our heart.
How would your world change if you were denied the chance to ask forgiveness, share your heart, a hug, kindness, love, pride, or any other unique pleasantry with someone you love? Would it grieve your heart, for the rest of your life, if the one you love was snatched away without a moment’s notice and you were left with the reality forgiveness was needed or a relationship in some way needed mending?