Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Life Well Lived?

Today I helped out at a funeral that was held at our church.  By helped out I mean that I did the multimedia for the service and handed out some bulletins.

The funeral was for a woman who had lived to be 102 years old and had lived in her own home until about a month before her passing.  I did not know this woman or her family.

As I looked through the bulletin prior to the service and listened to the eulogy given by a son-in-law and testimonies by two grandsons, the only things I came away really knowing about this woman were that she liked to cook and was good at it and she liked growing vegetables.  There were vague references to her hospitality.

There was no reference to her spiritual life, if she had one.

I came away from the funeral feeling a bit sick.  I was not so much sick because I was left wondering about this lady's spiritual life.  Rather I was sick because I was left wondering how comforting could it be to the family that the only memories they had of a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother were about food.

Now I am not naive.  I've attended funerals of unsaved people before, and I admit that I haven't come away from them feeling very uplifted or satisfied.  But none of those have been for people who lived to be 102.  Their eulogies were more meaningful in that they had accomplished more than just being able to make a lot of food and force people to eat it.

The irony of the day came when we went downstairs for the luncheon.  All of the food provided was store bought.  There were stale store bought subs that had been cut into wedges, pre-cut fruit and vegetables, and pastries.

I don't know how long I will live but I hope at my death I will leave a legacy that put something substantial into the lives of the people around me and that I made a difference because I lived.

1 comment:

  1. Your thoughtful posting reminds me of the immortal words by Mary Oliver:

    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"