Yesterday morning I went to my cousin, Jimmy’s funeral. Jimmy was a cousin that I didn’t know very well – my dad was 1 of 7 kids and his siblings all had lots of kids and this was my youngest cousin on my Dad’s side, so he was not who I really talked to at reunions, weddings, funerals and such. He was 21 and died Sunday unexpectedly and tragically when he fell into a ravine while hiking. I can’t imagine (nor do I want to try to) my aunt’s grief and pain. When I found out that he had died, I was shocked, saddened and then thought, “This is a bad week for me to have to go to a funeral.”
That’s right, I’m ashamed to admit that was one of my first thoughts. Tomorrow I am leading a training retreat for the leadership team of my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. It might not seem like a big deal, but it is a 9 hour agenda filled with training, bonding, and planning for the upcoming year. I try so hard to make it fun, informative, and memorable in a good way. I still had a lot of work to do on getting ready for the retreat. And I didn’t think it was a good time to “fit in” a funeral. It’s strange really how my aunt’s and my cousins’ whole lives have completely changed in an instant and I get a little stressed about an “inconvenience.” Kind of like when I get really frustrated about sitting in traffic for 45 minutes and being late to something when the reason for the traffic was a horrific accident and a family’s life is shattered…
But I went to the funeral and am so glad I did. I am thankful for my family, all of them, the ones I’m close to and the ones I’m not. Because I know when it comes down to it, we are family, we love each other, we have a bond, and I know that they would all be there for me if I would ask them to.
In the past, I have skipped funerals because of my schedule, and I have regretted it. I have not called or sent cards to offer condolences because I didn’t know what to say, and I have regretted it. I have not visited or called someone whom I knew was going to be passing soon because I didn’t know what to say or if it would be welcome, and I regretted it. I let me self-centeredness keep me from doing what is right and being focused on the important things. But… I have never regretted doing any of those things when I did do them. (Lord please help me to think of myself less and others more.)
So now, I’m sitting down to type this because as it turned out I was able to get everything ready for the retreat despite going to the funeral. My week actually wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be and have been able to enjoy a lot of it. I wish it could be the same for my aunt, my cousins and Jimmy.
♥Becki (imperfect wife of an imperfect man, imperfect mom of 3 imperfect boys, forgiven daughter of a perfect God.)
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