A Funeral-A Day Full Of Sadness

I attended a funeral yesterday. I did not want to go, but I wanted to pay my respects and the AH was a pallbearer. He was only 44 and had a wife and three young daughters. Watching them say goodbye to him was very unpleasant. He was a well liked, down to earth business man in my former hometown. He had lupus and got what the doctors think was Guillain Barr syndrome. He had been in the hospital for 6 months paralyzed from the neck down. His family rallied around him, his town rallied around him, people prayed for god to rally around him. He did not. His family had to watch him slowly die. He suffered, his family suffered along with him.

I’ve seen him laugh and dance and play and now I’ve seen him dead in a casket. I did not know him to be a very religious man. I don’t believe he would label himself a Christian, but maybe he believed in a god. He did not belong to a church, but his funeral was in a church and officiated by a pastor and a couple of family friends.

As you can imagine God was mentioned a lot in the eulogies. I found myself becoming angry that we were being told that we don’t know why God chose to take this man, but we must remember that he had a good reason and gave all kinds of scripture on why we shouldn’t question God.  He had a reason and that’s all we need to know. While that might comfort some it did nothing for me but make me angry.

There were at least a thousand people at the funeral(the largest I have ever attended) and we where all being told not to question why this 44-year-old husband and father suffered. Why his wife is now a young widow and how his children ages 11 to 4 will now not have a father who was so very involved in their lives. Why a dad and mom had to bury a son and why a grandmother had to attend his funeral instead of the other way around.

Don’t ask why they said, we don’t have the answers. I don’t have the answer to why he contracted and illness that ultimately killed him either, but I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with an autoimmune disease and nothing to do with God teaching anyone a lesson or not answering prayers. I’m pretty sure he’d think the same thing as well.

As I watched hundreds of people say their goodbyes at the casket Freebird was playing. When it was my turn I could barely look at him laying there with colorful letters and notes from his children surrounding him.

Life is not fair at times. Good people have shitty things happen to them all the time. I think I am so emotional about his death because he was only 10 years older than me and two than the AH. He had a child my children’s age. He had hopes and dreams and now he’s dead. You never know when your last day will be. It makes me aware that it could be me or my husband in the casket, my kids saying goodbye.

If there is a place we go other than in the earth or into ashes, I hope he went there. I hope he’s dancing and singing Freebird and I hope that one day I can go too because it’s going to be one hell of a party.

See ya on the flip side Kent.

As a side note: The funeral ran longer than expected. When I called my mom to say we would be later picking up the kids I told her how sad the funeral had been. How evident it was that he was a liked man. Her only question to me was “was he a Christian?” I said I didn’t know what he beliefs were to which she responded “I hope he was so that his soul is not in worse shape than it was here on earth.” That question disgusted me. She didn’t ask was he a good man, did he take care of his wife and children was he a good citizen.,Nope it was if he was going to hell or not. I understand she’s Christian or she thinks she is and that’s an important question to her, and at one point it was to me as well, however it just seems so inappropriate to me now.


About theagnosticswife

Living in the bible belt, in middle America, with a once Christian husband who has turned Agnostic. I no longer know what I believe.
This entry was posted in Agnostic, Atheist, Children, Christian, God, Life and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to A Funeral-A Day Full Of Sadness

  1. TheDon says:

    Thank you for posting. Being reminded of death allows me the freedom to enjoy every minute I have here on this earth; to be able to make a difference. Life is truly a gift we must treasure.

    It reminds me of a funeral I went to many months ago. The pastor gave an altar call. I was disgusted.

  2. atimetorend says:

    I’ve been stunned by that question as well, “was he a Christian.” Followed by awkward silence when the answer was no. I have felt angry as well, feeling it completely inappropriate. On the other hand, I think it is something Christians say to find consolation themselves, so they won’t have to feel so sad. But the “soul being in a worse place part,” that is more difficult to reconcile.

    • I think you make an interesting point here. “I think it is something Christians say to find consolation themselves, so they won’t have to feel so sad.” That pretty much sums up a lot of how I feel about religion, particularly Christianity. Quite often, religion is a get out of jail free pass to not own up to our shortcomings, take responsibility, or basically to have to deal with reality.

    • theagnosticswife says:

      I completely agree that Christians use it as a method to comfort themselves. I can totally understand that, but now that I’m on this side of the religion I could NEVER do that again.

  3. Michael Mock says:

    “Was he a Christian?”
    “That’s between him and God, surely.”
    I suppose, given your Mom’s assumptions, that she intended the remark to be more positive than it comes across. She’s expressing the hope, after all, that the fellow has gone on to an eternal life of joy and splendor in Heaven – it’s just unfortunate that she couldn’t express that without also mentioning that she considers Being a Christian a necessary prerequisite.

    What a very sad occasion.

  4. Thanks for sharing, AW. Funerals are always terribly sad occassions. Thankfully, I haven’t had to go to one in ages. In fact, I believe the last one was my mother’s. She wasn’t terribly religious, but I’m sure called herself a Christian – the way a lot of people do. The main thing I took away from it was how the preacher didn’t want my mother’s cousin to get up and speak about my mother because women aren’t allowed to speak in the church. That was probably a huge turning point for me, even though it was 7 years ago. It absolutely disgusted me to the core, and I was so angry, for a long time. I still am, to a degree, now that I recall the episode. The good thing, though, is that she still got up and spoke beautifully about my mother and what she meant and how much she would be missed. 🙂

    • theagnosticswife says:

      Isn’t it silly that women are not supposed to speak in the church according to the Bible, yet Joyce Meyers has a huge ministry. I’m glad your mother’s cousin took a stand and was heard.

      • Me too! Even as a kid, I thought that was total crap. I swear I was a born skeptic lol. Seriously, as a kid, in church, I was the one thinking the entire time, “Wait…what? Hmmm…something here just doesn’t jive.” lol

  5. Heather says:

    What a lovely blog you have. I just read your comments you made to me on Mormon411 and I wanted to say thank you.

    I hate funerals, especially Mormon ones. There is usually a life sketch that lasts 10 minutes then a good 20 minute talk on Christ blah blah blah. There is no celebration of the persons life at all. I hate them.

    My husband went to his cousins funeral. She was 30 and died of lupus. Left a husband and 6 year old girl. Very sad. The bishop during the funeral looked at the husband and told him if he didn’t get his act together he would never see his wife again. Nice…

    Anyway, thanks again. I will be keeping on eye on this blog of yours. It’s lovely.

    • theagnosticswife says:

      Yikes! What a nice thing to say to a grieving husband!

      Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your inspirational story!

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