My moms funeral is Saturday. As we are hearing back from people planning to attend her funeral, it got me thinking…
Who will be at my funeral?
In the generations before me, funerals were something you always attended. If it was a friend who passed, a family member, a close co-worker, or if a friend had a parent, significant other, or God forbid their child die, you’d go to the wedding. No questions asked. You’d be there. Today, not so much.
We seem to be living in a hybrid between a physical and virtual world. Covid-19 increased that. In general, people just show up less. That is also compounded by the fact that we are more spread out than ever before. In past generations, most everyone you knew lived in the same town. Though I suspect they’d still had gotten on their horse and ride hundreds of miles to attend funerals.
I don’t think having a ton of people at a funeral necessarily says something about the person. You could have 1 million people at your funeral and have been an awful person, or have nobody show up and have been a great person. However, I think who shows up does say a lot about those relationships and friendships.
I think I will only have a handful of people at my funeral. Most likely, mine would be a small family gathering.
I will certainly have my social media pages flooded with hundreds of wonderful messages eulogizing me, though, I am fairly certain I would not have a lot attend a funeral. My immediate family would be there. I have three friends I am certain would be there. Beyond that, maybe a handful of people would attend. I suppose, in a selfish way, I would want more people to be there, but, that is not my takeaway.
I thought of the people I know would be at my funeral. The people I know would not miss it no matter what. Those are powerful people in our lives. Those are people we need to cherish more.
I also thought about whose funerals I would absolutely not miss. I thought about which friends, if they lose a parent, sibling, spouse or child, would I show up to support. That list, not counting family, is somewhere around 25. Yet, my list I am certain would show for me is 3. I suppose some could look at that and say I have a bunch of one sided friendships, but I don’t think that is it. I think I just value showing up.
I value being physically present. That is an odd thing to value for a guy who likes to spend 95% of his time alone, but I have always been good at showing up when it matters. I may not be good at a lot of things, but I am good at that. That is something we all need to do a better job at. In a world that is a hybrid of virtual or and in-person, we all need to physically show up more.
Showing up, being physcially present, it is one of the most simple yet most powerful acts of love.