Monday, February 16, 2009

Learnings from a Funeral

The sad part isn't the framed photo in front of the altar, or the blue-and-green-checked cap or other assembled life artifacts. It's the looks on the faces of those who must wake without him. Unlike the sun, grief is more powerful when reflected.

Every young parent should pay special attention to the eulogies of bereft siblings. They don't reflect upon big birthday parties and expensive toys. They remember five things: long, sustained moments spent together (even in silence); the times you taught them something, anything; advice, so long as it proved wise; quirks (the stranger the better); and when you spoke lovingly of their other parent.

Eulogies are sometimes confessions. Sons confess the moments when they felt that they couldn't live up to their fathers.

It is rare indeed when someone says, "He did not leave any unfinished business." And when they do, one must look upon that as perhaps the greatest accomplishment of all.

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