My weekend was not something I look forward to as a pastor and only really pushed this funk I am in as I feel surrounded by death. This last month I have seen two of my congregation members go through death in their families. One mother lost her daughter and one man lost his brother. I did a third memorial yesterday for a woman who died in Arizona but wanted to be buried in Hersey. Michigan. I never knew her but all I had to do was the committal so I was happy to do that for the family. That’s three memorials in about three weeks with two this weekend. All this death and dealing with people in grief is however hard on me as no matter who you are or how much gallows humor you develop to cope you still become reflective at every one of these memorial services. For me it gets even more complicated at this time of year as I approach the day of my father’s death. It will be twenty years ago on October 5th. I never walk away from a funeral or memorial without reflecting on how short life is and how much death has taken from all of us. Having to go through this three times this month has been almost too much. I hope October is a better month.
All three people were cremated so that added some interesting elements as well. You don’t have body to look at just photographs of when the person was alive and I now can say that this makes things different in how people handle things. Cremation makes things much more subdued. The ashes are their but you have a far greater sense of the person being gone than you do with a body present. It is far more final because when the body is present people seem to have more emotions like the person is going to get up and be back with them. People simply are far more accepting that the person is gone when all that is left is ashes in a box or an urn.
That said all this being surrounded by death has caused me to get a little more motivated, although I apologize for not writing too much this weekend. It has been a little depressing but I am trying to turn it into getting back to building and enjoying my life. It’s time to return to what makes me truly happy which is being disciplined enough to grow and open enough to celebrate life. It is far too short to just sit around and be depressed. It is time to lift, do cardio, yoga and write. It is time to double my efforts to find a second job and work much harder to make my life, my marriage and family better. Death should motivate us like this and I plan to make it do so.
For those who read this blog and believe, I ask simply that you keep me in your prayers. I suspect that as I approach the anniversary of my father’s death the call of depression will begin to whisper in my ear with its seductive voice. I need to tell it to shut up and get to work both and building myself and enjoying the results instead. It is what my father would have wanted for me.
Blessings and Cheers!