I wrote this a number of years ago. It still holds true.
A while back my teenage daughter and I made a trip to Chicago. We went there to see a show at Northwestern University that I had been involved with 25 years ago when I attended there. As we traveled down the road I told her stories of the many times I had driven that route. I told her why I always took the toll road and the Skyway instead of taking I-94. I told her some of the same stories that my father had told me when he and I traveled down those same roads. We talked about how things had changed and how some things were still the same. I gave her pointers on how to merge into traffic when you first come onto the Dan Ryan Expressway. How the big city can be exciting, and scary and awesome all at the same time. We pointed out buildings we both had been to. She told me about her sixth grade trip to the Aquarium, going to the top of the John Hancock Building and how she was sick that day. I told her about fraternity parties, and people I knew. I showed her the places I used to live and hang out. She was a little bored at times but she hung in there with me. The show that evening was great and afterwards there was an alumni reception where I introduced her to some people that were very important in my life. There were people there reliving things they had done 50 years ago and rubbing elbows with students that were doing those same things now. And they were all telling stories.
So what does this have to do with funerals? Everything. That’s what funerals are all about. Telling stories about someone we love. The good times and bad times. The funny happenings and others that make us cry. It’s a gathering of young and old together to remember the past and create a future. Funerals are about looking at black & white pictures and trying to figure out who everybody in the photo is. They’re about Dad’s bowling trophies and Mom’s wonderful quilt. Funerals are about crying babies, grandchildren running around, and Aunt Esther with a walker. They’re about relatives traveling from far away and friends we haven’t seen for years. And yes, funerals are about death and an ending. But mostly, funerals are about life and telling stories.
I’m Dale Clock
Thanks for Listening