A FUNERAL'S IMPRINTMar 04, 2022
It's not everyday that you attend a funeral, let alone one that leaves a lasting imprint in one's heart...
I've always associated funerals with black suits and black dresses. Black stockings, black high heels and of course black umbrellas because surely it's going to rain the minute we step onto the graveyard lawn.
Well, not this time...
We were given clear instruction to wear something bright. Vivid colours. On arrival we were greeted by sensitive smiles and ushered into an auditorium that was already packed to the rafters. Half an hour early, yet even still, more and more people arrived as we sat watching additional chairs being squeezed into available gaps.
Already, an impression was being forged in my mind.
The funeral began with the spine-chilling harmonies of Amazing Grace, and from that moment on, I was on the edge of my seat soaking up stories of how this incredible man had impacted so many lives.
The impression was deepening.
The most breathtaking moment was when his son took to the stage. The weight of the preceding days had chiselled stature into his form. He stood tall and spoke so fervently of his father's love; dedication and commitment to his family. He spoke of how safe he felt when Dad was around, and how Dad always affirmed Mom with the most beautiful of words. They were soul mates and it was evident to the kids (and to all) that Dad loved her. He was raw with emotion and grief, and yet he also made the room erupt in laughter with tales of life and love that played out like a theatre show in our minds. He then looked to his mom and spoke life into her being.
The impression deepened still.
Pin-drop silence filled the room as we took to our seats with bated breath. There she stood, in her leopard print gown with grace and with strength. I couldn't help wonder how she was doing this. She thanked her man for their years together, for the way in which he loved and cared for her. She thanked him for their children and for fathering them, for being there for them and for building them up into the people they are today. There was not a dry eye in the room.
Her gaze shifted to her children as she spoke lavishly upon them. She built them up as he would have, and reminded them just how much they are loved and treasured. She spoke directly into their future, and then she turned to the crowd. Everyone present had been impacted in one way or another not only by her man, but the entire family. She thanked everyone for coming, placed her hand on her heart and said, "It is well with my soul".
There was a standing ovation as she left the stage - none of us could fight back the tears.
On the flight home, I silently sat with the event seared into my heart. It's imprint still burning has forever changed and challenged me. I couldn't help but wonder "What imprint am I leaving? Am I bettering the lives of those around me? Do I light up the room when I walk in or do I leave a bitter taste in people's mouths?"
For as long as we have breath in our lungs, it is not too late to change. It's not too late to re-stamp our imprint and leave a legacy of joy, love, laughter, life and hope for those around us.
When my time has come, I want that day to be a celebration of a life well lived. I don't want it to be filled with black suits, and black dresses. Black stockings, black high heels and black umbrellas. No, it too will be filled with vivid colour, tears and plenty of laughter; etching it's own imprint into those in attendance.
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