Turning up

Today we went to a funeral. And that’s probably all I can say about that fact right now. It’s too tender and raw to put into words on a screen. But I will soon because writing…well, it’s kinda my thing and how I process life, in case you hadn’t noticed.

But, having said that, my husband made a comment after the service that has been rolling around my mind. He wasn’t disrespecting anyone by this question, more a wondering about us as humans. He said, “People turn up to funerals but who of them turn up during life?”

There’s all sorts of reasons to go to a funeral; some of them are right, and some aren’t. It got me thinking about the people whose funerals I would go to, should I hear of their passing. It goes without saying that I would go to the funerals of family and close friends, but what about those I maybe haven’t seen in awhile, or have lost touch with, or who I share a past with but not so much of the present? Those who I don’t brush up against week to week; relationships that time has eroded, or distance has separated.

You see, as a wise friend once gently reminded me, some friendships have seasons, and it’s okay to let them go and the letting go doesn’t void the friendship or the lessons and blessings received within it. With other friends, neither time, distance or lack of interaction can dim the love and catch ups that are months or even years apart, seem like just a day from the last one.

Today challenged me to, if not rekindle relationships, then to at the very least let people know what they meant to me and how they contributed to my life. After all, standing at their funeral may support their family and give evidence of my love and thanks but it won’t impact the person who has passed.

Don’t stand at a funeral thinking of missed opportunities and regretting not seeing more of that person, or telling them how you felt. Imagine standing at a funeral, free of guilt and regret, with nothing left unsaid. And the beauty of it is that it wouldn’t just change how you feel at the funeral, it would change how you feel in life.

8 thoughts on “Turning up

  1. Sorry for the loss. Prayers up, for you.

    One thing I’ve learned to recognize is that even if I’ve been present, and done all I can, there will still be regrets. Some of them paralyzing, because the more I was able to be present…the more I have been able to see the lack in my presence.

    I’ve found that the only way to pass through this is to believe that there will someday be a reckoning, and that none of this will matter. That there will be a healing of hurts, and a release from the bondage of regret, something akin to the sound a wave makes, after it breaks upon the shore, and the water hisses back to the sea.


    • Thanks Andrew. Yes, I agree there will always be some sort of regret as we all think we could have been more, done more, said more. I guess I’m talking about the type of regret that is actually true, not just the shoulda, woulda’s; the crippling kind of regrets that stay with us a lifetime. And I agree about the reckoning. And that comforts me enormously.


  2. So sorry for your family’s loss Susannah.
    It’s a valid question and one I’ve entertained as well. I think we’ve come to the same conclusion -live each day to the fullest, and treat our relationships in a way that will leave us with no regrets.


    • Thanks Denise. Yes, I think, as Andrew said in his comment, we are never fully free of all regret (I think some of this must be the enormous expectations we put on ourselves, though) but at least we can know we tried and lived to the best of our ability.


  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, some friendships come, some go – because of distance, because of change of jobs, because we just get so “busy.” This is a good reminder to turn up in life.


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