Obituaries. When I took this position with the Tri County Leader, I never once gave a thought to the fact that I would be responsible for editing and placing obituaries into the newspaper. I just wanted to write stories and report local news. I was excited for the opportunity to do so.
To be certain, obituaries are not my favorite part of this job because I know that for every name there is a family that is hurting, mourning the loss of a loved one. Friends will have a perceptible absence in their lives.
I have noticed, however, that while some obituaries include notices of funeral services, others refer to memorial services. I think the term I prefer the most is celebration of life service. I wish I had seen it or knew about it when my mother passed away.
The word funeral carries the connotation of such finality. Being a follower of Christ I believe that my mother and I will one day be reunited.
The term memorial brings to mind images of statues and plaques. My mother wouldn’t want to have such tributes and she certainly meant more to me than a name inscribed on a sculpture.
Celebration of Life. That’s what we should have written. No, the terminology doesn’t change the fact that my mother is still gone from this life. But, my mother’s life made such a difference in the lives of others and funerals bring about the idea of a service where people just say goodbye, offer the family their condolences and leave. A celebration of life makes me think of streams of people speaking of the impact and change in their lives due to the one who has died. That’s what my mother should have had.
Whether for a soft word, a kind deed or gesture or even a simple smile; I choose to celebrate the lives of those I love each day. I also choose to live today in a way that instead of a funeral or even a memorial service, I will be given a celebration of life.
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