Nothing brings back to your center like a funeral. No matter how far you wonder from home a funeral is the final stamp in your passport here on earth. I attended a funeral this weekend of a very dear family friend. He was the type guy that always had kind words to say. If you needed him he was there no questions asked. He enjoyed a simple life and you knew he valued God, family, and work… in that order. This year he would have been 40 and passed after 3 days in a coma after a stroke. I don’t have many other details and didn’t really ask. Not because I wasn’t concerned but because I knew in that moment I wanted to celebrate his life. So the details of his death escaped me.
Traveling to his home town to attend the funeral was somber but peaceful. In the way that any one would feel when you travel somewhere that is similar to the way you grew up. One thing is certain, the Southern Funeral, is alive and well. As it should be.
Travel opens your eyes and heart to customs and traditions of the world. But as we grow and the world becomes smaller, so many things about our southern roots have to change. But our funerals should not be altered. When this life is done and your chapter has been written will the pews fill with people who loved you, knew you, and will truly miss you. Will there be standing room only? Will the final thoughts of your life be filled with laughter and heartfelt tears. or will there be an empty spot in the program for anyone with a few words to stand? will anyone stand? will people struggle to find something about that can be shared in a place of worship.
On this warm, April day the body of a God fearing man was laid to rest. A life to short but filled with the things that bought him joy.
I have tasked myself to focus in on what brings me joy, to reconnect to my center, embrace my roots, and appreciate each glorious day. One day the hollow tomb will close around each of us, no matter our differences or likenesses. I find comfort in knowing, if I wake up in the morning, I will branch out and take on new experiences with an open mind. But, When I lay my head down I will be thankful for the roots that bear southern fruit. So if anybody ask you, where I’m going… you can tell them I’m going up yonder to be with my Lord. Sacred