Joan Reynolds

Real Faith, Real Life & Real Joy

A Fun-eral….What A Great Idea!


My previous post reminded me of a memory that floated back into my consciousness this weekend, as I was again telling life stories with family.My youngest son noticed, at the ripe age of eight or nine, that while our extended family was seemingly never able to plan re-unions, as other families he knew had, ours did make time to get to funerals.

Since he also noticed that during the three or four days we were together we had a great time, sharing stories and crying and laughing together;  all the emotions he knew were sacred to his Mom and made her feel most a part of things….connection really, deep sharing, truth telling.  As he would later play a similar role in his own circle of friends, he was able to get right to the heart of the matter:

“Mom, when you get old and are about to die, I am going to call all your family and friends and tell them you died. Then they will all come for your funeral and we will have a big party and you will be there to hear all the nice things they say about you!”  That was one of the most poignant remarks he has ever made to me, and he has made many. There was a ton of insight into not just what matters to me, but I also believe what matters to God.

I struggled for years with feelings of abandonment, unworthiness, and sheer black-sheep-itis, as I seemed to be such a round peg in a square hole where my immediate family was concerned. This was probably because I took everything personally, what they called overly sensitive, and often it wasn’t meant to be taken that way; the same ability that is often helpful when being sensitive to the needs of children or wounded adults I may not even know very well. God made me this way for a reason, and I think it helps me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and it has taken me thirty years of God’s grace to let my own family off the hook and appreciate all they did, and tried to do, to assist me on my journey in this life.

So having a Fun-eral, a time where I got to receive all the gifts of acceptance, love, and I am sure, to notice their  gratefulness that my peculiar talents were not taken from the family mix just yet, that there was still time for them to enjoy my peculiar uniqueness for a little bit longer, sounded like a great idea! That sounded like something that would bring joy to my heart and, as my son noted, ‘you would have so much fun, Mom’!

I just noticed that if you take the word ‘funeral’ and merely move the r back a space and change the order of the two words formed you have Real Fun. And that is exactly how life seems to me when we affirm each other while we are still here living it!

I guess ever since then I have been trying to bring the fun in funeral to people’s everyday lives, by acknowledging, in the present, what they really bring to this party called life. I suggest that you tell your loved ones and friends now, while they can still hear what you are saying,  the things you want them to know and then it won’t be stuck inside you after they are gone. It will be a gift to them and a gift to you, but even more than that, an offering that I believe  is also a precious gift to God.

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