“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.” (Yogi Berra) Today is Yogi Berra’s funeral…a private service at his church with a larger observance this week in Yankee Stadium. A Facebook posting, “It’s over!” let me know of his death. “From dust we have been created; to dust we shall return.” The funeral is not only a time of closure, but it’s also an opportunity to “pay our respects” and to be reminded of fragileness of life. ;-) Jack
FROM RI IN BOSTON: Every year now we get notified about the death of some friend whom we have been close to over the years. Because we have moved around geographically so often, we are usually too far away to attend those friends funerals. As each one departs this world it makes us more aware of our own mortality, and reminds us to "be prepared". When I was younger it was common to hear the advice "Get right with God".====JACK: It seems as though many "friends" are skipping the funeral in favor of the visitation these days. A card and a note are always appreciated.
FROM HONEST JOHN: AND to be reminded that Christ rose from the dead..."the first fruits..." I was just looking out the window at "the dark" and thinking how dark it must have been on the farm there in Joslin when my Grandparents went out to do some chores. I suppose they carried a lantern. Where are they now? And with whom?====JACK: Since the body is left behind, God evidently has provided a way to recognize souls. Won't that be interesting. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard...."
FROM TRIHARDER: and they will go to his (funeral) You do know what "it's over" was in reference to?====JACK: I thought that "It's over!" was a clever take on Yogi's famous quote, "It's never over 'til...." You should become a headline writer for the Detroit Free Press.
FROM CS IN MICHIGAN: One of my favorite coffee table books – “Yogisms” . Thanks for reminding me to read it again cause it is full of good laughs!====JACK: Here's a Yogi quote especially for you. "I never said most of the things they said I said."
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: I also like Garrison Keillor's quote: its a shame we always have to miss our own funerals and usually its just by a couple of days!====JACK: After a funeral that I had conducted, a woman came up to me and said that she never have recognized the deceased from what I had said about her. "She was not a very nice person!" I explained that I had gotten the information from the son of the deceased. Evidently husband and wife had differing opinions, to say the least.
FROM KANSAN DON: I have noticed very rare, if at all, any condolences that include a word of "thanks" for that life and to God for that life. (So I do my own.)====JACK: A church member, who was a florist, died. His obituary included the sentence..."Please send flowers!"
FROM FM IN PACKERLAND: And the difference in human beings – and the wonder of God’s creativity!====JACK: A friend of mine, a funeral director, took pride in preparing the body for viewing. He remembers, as a child, when his mother died, and he was able to see her one more time.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: We who have been in ministry have gone to more than our share of funerals...hopefully there will still be some friends and family around to go to our memorial service. It has become quite common to just have a memorial service without "ashes" or casket, with visitation just prior to services. But hours of visitation are usually more viable for working people than mid-day funeral or service, and the visitor gets to talk to the immediate family that way too. Years ago, when we had visitation for my parents, there were two sessions of visitations, like from 2 to 5, and 6-8. Thankfully that is a thing of the past! YOGI gave the world a lot of levity and down-home "sayings", and as he said, he was often quoted on things he really didn't say! The same goes for Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, etc. etc. Meanwhile, "on to the next funeral", which seem to come with too much regularity these days!! :-( I'm sure a capacity crown will attend Yogi's Yankee Stadium observance!====JACK: One-day visitations...more cremations...fewer processions. One of our pastors led the procession to the cemetery riding his Harley, with many bikers in formation behind him. The hearse was a hearse-trailer pulled by by a motorcycle. I don't think that the funeral director was driving it.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Nor will they be standing at the Pearly Gates waiting to greet you. ====JACK: As I've grown older I've ceased to wonder about the things of heaven (pearly gates, streets of gold, harps, angels and the like). I'm prepared for whatever God has in store. My prayer: "Surprise me!"
FROM HUNGRY HOWIE: I knew a guy who would never sign the guest book at a funeral home. He said he didn’t want to let them know how to find him.====JACK: Each of us has our quirks!
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Yogi was a great player with a fantastic sense of humor. Enjoy each day. We are all still here for reason. He lived a good and full life.====JACK: ...and he was a faithful Catholic. I remember that the importance of a Catholic funeral was judged by how many priests were at the altar. I'll bet that there was more than one at the altar today.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Well, my mantra is "God has a plan for me" His will, not mine be done. And since I can't plan for a specific date, I requested a family reunion (RIP) party . I have always told my family that I wanted them to have a fun party after I move on. BUT I didn't want to miss it! Thus, we partied a few months ago.....and I'm so glad that I was there! Thank you, God.====JACK: I don't want to micromanage my funeral, because it's not for "me." Yet, I have listed some basic do's and don't's on a sheet of paper, knowing that I won't be around to protest if they don't do and do don't.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: His whole church service was on tv. I'm not good at going to funerals bUT i do go to the visitations. My family knows i don't really want a funeral but I will have one if they would like. Personally, I'd like them to take a trip to Hawaii.====JACK: If the shoe were on the other foot, and we were to decide on what to do when a loved one dies....as for me, regardless of the pre-death wishes, I would want a funeral for the benefit of the survivors.