An unexpected funeral

Vacation can certainly get you off your schedule. As I mentioned previously, my dad likes to go to daily mass so the two things I planned to do in the morning have gotten lost in the shuffle: writing and exercising. This morning there was a funeral as part of the daily mass so that was interesting. It’s the second random funeral we’ve attended in Florida. Last year on the anniversary of my mom’s passing we also attended a stranger’s funeral at daily mass.

For today’s funeral, we sat in the front across from the family. The person’s ashes, photo and a dozen roses were on a small table in front of the altar and I had a pretty good view of everything, especially the deceased woman’s photo and she looked to be in her early 60’s if the photo was recent.

Of course, I used my imagination to give this woman and family a story. Who were the mourners? How did they feel about the deceased? Did she have cancer? A heart attack? Car accident? The ashes had me thinking she didn’t die a peaceful death but I could be totally wrong.

The priest gave us the briefest of details of her life. She was a teacher from Mexico City who emigrated to the U.S. She was kind and devoted to the church and often brought her dog, Sweetie, to church for Stations of the Cross.

Hearing about this person’s life certainly wasn’t on my agenda today. But it made me stop to pause and think about the things that happen to us when we least expect them. Our time on earth is limited and we don’t know when we’ll be called home. The fact I didn’t get to write until now, just as I’m ready for bed or that I never made it to the gym are highly inconsequential. I spent another great day with my dad and now my sister is visiting too and we just came from a fantastic dinner.

I felt sad for the woman’s family today as I’m sure a funeral wasn’t the top of their plans this week either. I hope to have several stranger’s witness her final earthly ceremony gave them a little comfort too, that we can all share in each other’s grief to hopefully lighten the load.


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