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.