Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Death
This week was funeral number seven for me. It’s not really that many considering I am a pastor. Funerals come with the territory. But three of those seven were family members. During the funeral yesterday, I was struck with the intense realization that death makes everyone equal. We love. We hurt. We laugh. We cry. Death makes life so much more real and profound.
Over the years, but especially this year, I have discovered some things to be true about death. As a pastor, these are things I wish everyone knew about death.
1. All death is sudden. No matter how long you have been anticipating it, it will still catch you by surprise.
2. People will say stupid things. Forget what they said and remember that they cared enough to show up.
3. Funerals and memorials are for the living, not the dead.
4. Grief is not a straight line. It’s a hot mess.
5. You’re never fully prepared for it.
6. Death brings out the best and the worst in us.
7. There is no such thing as closure. Lines close. Stores close. Relationships transition.
8. Guilt, anger, and regret are all normal.
9. The practice of sending thank you notes after the funeral is cruel and unusual punishment. I have no idea why that started.
10. It’s ok to cry…to not cry…to laugh…to live. You can’t go over it, under it, or around it. You can only go through it. But it does get better…eventually.
We can endure twice the pain if we have one caring person in our life. Find your one person. Then find a few more.