There was not a dry eye in the entire room. While there were tears of sadness of their loss there was just as many if not more from the shear extent of laughter that shook each person as they listened to stories shared of the one they had known and loved. The stories brought back memories and at times shocked the listeners as they gained new perspective on the life they had been a part of. Friends, family, collegues and fellow church members had gathered together to share in the life of Kristina Lyn Reddy.
Do you find it morbid that one would think about their own funeral? I have been to some pretty amazing funerals. Ones where I have walked away thinking to myself, “I hope that people have things like that to say about me at my funeral.” Or, “I hope I have touched people like that during my lifetime.” I will never forget my mother’s funeral. Stories were shared by people that I had never met. I was completely shocked by the number of lives my mom had touched. Hearing about my mom the nurse was new for me as I had never witnessed her at work. To me she was a mother, a wife, a sister and a daughter. While I knew she worked I had no idea what she was like at work. My eyes were opened to who my mother had been.
Recently I was at a funeral for the husband of a collegue of mine. I had only met the man 2 or 3 times in a social atmosphere. My limited knowledge of him was that he was a kind and loving husband, a baseball coach and an electrician. I was brought to tears as I sat and listened to the extensive number of lives that he had touched in those capacities. Not only was he a basebal coach but he was a moral role model to numerous young boys throughout his years of coaching. He was a friend, a confidant, an encourager and a consistent example of how to make good choices in often tough situations. His work as an electrician went beyond the job site when he followed up with customers to see how they were doing or to find out how things had worked out for them that they had shared with him while on the job. I was blown away that as this man was dying he had taken the time to tell those around him what he wanted said at his funeral. He had a message that he wanted to get to those who knew him, a message about God and what he had done for him in his life. He had a specific song that he wanted all to hear with words that had not only touched his heart but that he had lived by in the past 5 years since he had given his life to Christ. He struck me as a man who knew who he was, where he had come from and where he was going. I found this to be amazing and it made me stop and think about my own funeral.
I’m not sure what songs I want played but I think I will write them down when I figure that out. What a great way to share with others my thoughts, my goals, my aspirations, what I had hoped to be and what I had believed in. I can only hope that there will be those there that have stories to share. Ones that will bring great laughter, some that will move people to tears and ones that will cause some to stop and think. I hope I have touched other people’s life in ways that I have heard others talk about at these funerals. I hope people who know me have felt loved, cared for, supported, encouraged, ‘called on the carpet’ out of true love & concern, lifted up when times were tough and I hope I have done some things that are worth remembering. I hope there is more laughter than tears. I hope my life in some way inspires others as these people’s lives have inspired me. Not because I am great but because I have tried to help others.
I had never heard of someone helping to plan their own funeral until I went to my collegue’s husband’s service. While at first strange, as the service continued I actually found it to be comforting. Although people were mourning the loss of this great man they were hearing from him one more time how much he cared. He was letting them know he was ready to go, he would miss them, but not to worry as he was in good hands and in an even better place. By choosing a song to be heard and even a message to be told he was speaking to his loved ones one more time. It makes me wonder what I would want to say to my friends and family after I am gone if I had that opportunity. I think I will get to work on that…………