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Don’t wait for the funeral

I touched on this before , but I was reminded of it when a dear friend told me about a recent funeral service of his high school friend.

They knew each other and hung out about 10 years from age 14 until age 24 and reconnected 40 years later , in their mid 60s , as their lives went different directions for decades.

When they reconnected, they picked up somewhat where they left off ; recapturing that long ago perspective, roles , memories , common interests . They enjoyed reminiscing , reliving and laughing.

All good.

When the friend learned he was dying , the topics turned a bit more serious , but they still reflected on the joys of a happier time , long ago.

My friend went to the funeral and shared his memories and others did the same at the service .

Yet the others shared their memories of the deceased when he was 30 to 60 years old.

My friend was blown away by the life of service , caring and compassion his high school friend lived , dedicated to helping young kids , students in a local high school with learning , life guidance and watching out for them at school and when asked.

Like a complete separate life and person.

So ,not a surprise that people change , evolve , devolve from the time we have with them , often limited to a school year , team sport , neighborhood , work colleagues etc.

Perhaps , it’s too much work or not as much fun to ask about what they’ve done those years you didn’t keep in touch. Perhaps we wouldn’t understand or relate , or possibly one wants to know , but the other does not.

Either way , for those you care about , enjoy the time you had , the time you have , reflecting , and dig deeper into the whole person, who they are , how they got there , to appreciate and deepen your relationship.

Don’t wait until it’s too late and hear about it at a wake or a funeral , generating emotions and questions with no answers.

Couple of ideas that may help here or make the most of your day and time with your friend.

Build something ; knowledge , faith , relationships , learn something new about somebody ; show recognition and appreciation to those in your life ; do something for another ; write a note , offer a compliment , make a call , share a laugh and smile , or present a small gift.

As I was finishing this draft and doing some regular reading , I came across what I think is a terrific quote that sums up , in one phrase , what I’ve been trying to say here.

I heard the quote from a video done by Matthew Kelly :

“ To love and be loved , you must know and be known”

Can’t sum it up any better or easier than that . Be open , honest , curious , vulnerable and genuine . Please keep that in mind when it gets harder or time gets away from you .

It’s worth the effort , and can almost guaranty you will be blown away !


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