“Cry a Little; Laugh a Lot.”
These were the words a man spoke to his niece regarding how they should approach his death, which would occur before the end of the following day.
This is a phrase that has been burned into my brain; I hope I retain the ability to state this during my own final days.
Earlier this week, I had the honor of presiding over a funeral service–my third in total, and my first for a person who was not a family member.
Even in a time of true, sincere grief, the spirit I witnessed in the departed’s wife, family, and friends, was simply awe-inspiring.
I delivered a message that highlighted some of the events of this man’s life–specifically those that involved his wife, family, and friends. Then I continued to discuss God’s plan of salvation for all people. It was a message meant to soothe the hearts of those who were grieving; for them to know their loved one was in the care of God –safe, secure, and no longer in pain or facing any of the trials of this live.
While a message like this is meant to help people feel confident in the state of their lost loved one, I learned a lesson that I believe is equally important for those who remain in this life after the passing of a treasured person.
This man and his widow had developed, over the year,s such rich and wonderful relationships within their own families and friends, that there was a small army of people who could both simultaneously grief their dear loved one and who could also be the support, strength, and shoulder to cry on that was also needed for one another.
Even with the strongest faith in the live everlasting that is promised through Christ, it still hurts terribly when a loved one is lost from this world.
But together, this tightly knit group of people were able to do exactly as they had been instructed: they cried a little at a loved one’s passing–but they also laughed a lot at the memories created, the love shared, and the rich and wonderful relationships they all shared.
May you be so fortunate as to have those relationships with the family and friends who surround you, that when a loved one leaves this world for the next, you too may receive not only the comfort that comes only from God, but that which comes in the warm hug of a friend, the recalling of a treasured story, or a toast to great memories made here on earth.