Something About A Southern Funeral

I am in Thomaston, Georgia for the funeral of my aunt Dorothy or “Dot” as she was known by family and friends. We got here around 6:15 after enduring the awful Atlanta, Georgia traffic which is notoriously horrible.

When we got to my aunt’s house tonight we were greeted by family who were sure to feed us in the tradition of many families around the world when there is a death in the family. Now in the south it’s about fried chicken, the sides and deserts. Food is synonymous with coming together as family to remember and to reconnect. In the south when you are sick or a family member passes traditionally ones community comes to the side of those who survive. Gifts of food among other things are offered to ease the loss. Blessed are those who mourn as it says in scripture.

You know it shouldn’t take death to bring people back together in times like this. However for many family comes with complications that unfortunately cannot be overcome even in the passing of a loved one.

Dot’s funeral is on a Saturday in January at her church where she was a member for a very long time. This is the same church where her mother, my great-grandmother’s funeral was held fourteen years ago.

Her devotion to God was/is shown by her hospitality and love for family and friends. She lived a great life, a long life, a life that will be remembered.

A funeral is more than mourning the dead it can be a family reunion too. Sometimes that family is biological or chosen from your tribe of friends. It’s amazing how you can reconnect and renew the ties of family that bind you.

I know that Dot is with her mother, father, brother and sister in the company of saints above. For me I am grateful of these people’s impact on my life and how I know that life does go on in the hearts and minds who continue a legacy.

A quote I like is “Live your life so the preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral” so for Dot she has nothing to worry about.

 

A Ramble About The Afterlife

We worry about the goodness to come in the afterlife that we fail to make things good in the life we live day-to-day. In my mind it’s really selfish to want the glory of heaven/paradise when there is much to be done to live the best life you can in the here and now. Death is a part of life, it’s the conclusion of ones earthly existence but ones story does continue to be written I think when we continue to be a part of that stream of consciousness and existence in the heavenly places. Our higher power, our creator gave us the gifts of people, places, things to sustain us while here on this planet created for life. We owe it to the ones we love to be there for them and to vigorously embrace them in a profound way. Until we are called to the company of saints then we still have much living to do. It would be a shame to leave this place worse than we found it in our birth.