I attended a friend’s funeral yesterday, cried, laughed, and left feeling I knew Bev Raimondo better. It was celebration of a life well-lived, a tribute to a woman, beautiful in every way, loving wife, mother, sister, friend, and colleague. Having reached an age where these celebrations seem to come often, I’ve given some thought to why I prefer attending the funeral rather than visitation.
It is for the stories. At visitation people share wonderful stories with the family and as a family member I loved that. Many of those stories were new to me. They helped me know my parents better, to know them as other people knew them. But the stories told at the memorial are the ones the inner circle know. They are the stories the family have repeated over the years at holidays and reunions, the stories that made my friends laugh and cry over the years, the stories that make me know them better.
Celebrations of life make me reflect on what stories people will choose to tell about me. I hope my family will choose ones that will make people laugh, ones that made us laugh through the years. Whichever ones they choose, I hope they show how blessed I’ve been to have had these years and how much I love them.