I attended a funeral yesterday for a woman that had lived a very long, fruitful and successful life. I had only seen her a few times, but her son is a friend of my brother’s. One thing that everyone said about her is that no matter how much pain she was in, or what kind of day she was having, she would ask, “How are YOU doing?” It made me think about how I conduct myself in meeting new people and in those I already know. I have changed that immediately.
There were two pieces that were read at her funeral that I believe exemplified who she was. Here they are:
She Is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
David Harkins 1959 –
Silloth, Cumbria, UK
New International Version (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I’m not a religious person, but I’m spiritual. The first one celebrates the life that this woman has led, not her death. The second describes a king leaving his people and though he is gone and may not return, they will be able to continue because of the lessons he has taught them.
I should only be so lucky as to have my life memorialized in such a way. That the lives I’ve touched have been forever changed and hopefully enriched by having done so. Peace.