I went to a funeral the other day. It wasn’t my first, I have been to many funerals, but it was one of the most memorable. The man that died, he was my friend’s dad. I didn’t really know him because my friend lives out of state and we met as adults, but I “knew him” – because of her, I knew him.
The thing I liked most about the funeral is that it was the real deal. When they spoke of this man, it wasn’t a list of all of his accomplishments and it wasn’t a bunch of blah-blah-filler making him seem great because he is no longer with us. It was real talk that gave a true sense of who he was to his friends and his family. That’s what I liked best.
What I liked least is that he wasn’t there.
That’s what sucks about funerals. The person being honored ISN’T EVEN THERE! But that’s how it goes. Funerals are the trump cards of life—they pull everyone in no matter where they are, what they’re doing, or how much it costs to get there. Everyone drops everything—they’re FINALLY all together, as a family, spending time and telling fun stories—except for one thing: The “Jack” never surfaces. So he never gets to hear about how great he was! What is that about? I don’t want that. I want to hear how great I am TO MY FACE!
When I left this particular funeral though, I felt my friend’s dad knew how everyone felt before he passed. This family was granted good-bye time, or as I like to call it: Red Carpet Time—a limited amount of time to use wisely.
But even if they weren’t granted that time, I could see love was something they expressed often, and the man who passed knew that.
It’s not always like that though.
We don’t always get Red Carpet Time. Sometimes death comes when we’re not prepared for it so the things that need to be said, need to be said. And they need to be said during life.
If you’ve ever lived through the sudden death of someone you truly care about, you know what I’m saying when I say sudden death is absolutely the most surreal mind f*ck in the whole wide world.
Of course, the severity of the mind f*ckery all depends on how much your life is going to change, but either way, do you really want to have things unsaid?
I was working one day, normal day, when I found out an old boyfriend died. At that point, we hadn’t been together for several months, but I had just spoken to him a week or so before. He claimed he was coming to Detroit to see a band (Prodigy) and then he was going to “bring [my] ass back” with him. We had words, but when I hung up, exasperated, my last word was “Whatever.”
His death had nothing at all to do with that conversation, but it was the last one we had, and I struggled with it for a long time.
Even with that last crappy memory, I still think he knew how I felt about him. In fact (probably because of him) I think everyone I care about knows exactly how I feel about them.
I’m not saying it’s natural for everyone to tell someone they’re doing a good job or you’re proud of them. I’m also not saying it’s always easy to tell someone you’re not super thrilled with them and you’re done.
I’m not saying any of that. All I’m saying is it’s not a horrible idea to make your position known—whatever it is—during their life. You want your people to know how you feel for them and for you, because that way there’s no unfinished business.
Thank you, always, for being here!
The DS&D Crew