The brother of a friend of mine died this past weekend in a car accident.
Yesterday my friend Lee and I drove down to attend the funeral and pay our respects.
The church was way out in “the country”. But there were a ton of folks there. Lee and I were some of the last to arrive so we actually sat on the front pew in one of the side sections. And from where we sat we had a direct view of the family pew.
I saw a mother who lost a dear son. Two sisters who lost their big brother. A brother in law who lost a best friend. And I saw a beautiful, young widow who lost her soul mate and father to her two young children. It was pretty gut wrenching to try and put myself in their place.
The funeral was a heavy one. But one where the stories were light and humorous, and many examples were given of the love for his kids and family and others. Of how he made everyone laugh and brought joy wherever he was. And how he’d be dearly missed.
I’ve never had anyone in my immediate family die. And I don’t know how I’d deal with it or process it. I kept thinking of what it would be like to be the one sitting in the pew having lost my wife or a child or a parent. But then my mind shifted.
What if it was my family sitting there and I was the one gone? My first thought was I wouldn’t want a funeral. I don’t know if that is a knee jerk reaction or not. But it also made me think of my family. If I was suddenly gone, would my children know beyond all else that their dad loved them? Would they know that I loved their mom dearly? Would they remember times I’ve spent with them and played with them and read to them? Would they say that Jesus shaped who I was or that I just tried to fit Him in when I could?
And my wife…. What all would she be going through?
And it really made me start thinking through a few things. I’ve not any real conclusions I’m ready to release. But how can I make certain my kids know my depth of love for them and their mom? How can I make sure they know how much Jesus loves them? And make sure my wife experiences true oneness in our marriage when it comes to all aspects: emotional, physical, spiritual, relational?
I must say, it’s made me think…