Funerals are on my mind.
I don’t know why.
Maybe because it’s late. Maybe because we get a daily dose of death on the news.
I don’t do this often, but I came up with this post’s title before I wrote the first word.
I looked at Sue’s prompt today, which is “light,” and the title popped into my head.
Funerals are a time to remember the impact a person made on the lives of others while he or she lived.
There are a lot of cliches people use to describe others, like how they light up a room or they’re a bright light in the world.
I’ve said them myself, about people I believe the description fits.
From an early age, I was taught what’s sometimes called the golden rule.
Jesus said do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
Treat everybody else like you want to be treated.
Those are solid words to live by, but I’ll be the first to admit sometimes they’re hard to live out.
I fail a lot.
Sometimes the way I treat people is a lot different than the way I want them to treat me in return.
Maybe it’s all of the death and sadness on the news or maybe it’s just because I’ve got some age on me now, but sometimes I wonder how well I follow the simple rule which could fix so many problems instead of cause so many more.
If I’m honest with myself, not as well as I should.
We get only so many trips around the sun.
Sometimes I wonder how much the way I live points people to the Light, and how much time I waste on trivial things.
Trivial things don’t matter at funerals, when people are left with only memories of the positive or negative difference you made in their lives.
I’ve gone to a lot of funerals where somebody has stood and told how the person was a good friend.
I’ve thought a lot lately about what it means to be a good friend.
I’ve thought about what it means to be there for someone through whatever may come.
I’ve come to believe it’s an honor.
I’ve thought about what it means to put somebody else ahead of yourself, and I’ve come to believe it’s important.
I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be a good listener, and I’ve come to believe it’s crucial.
I’ll be honest.
There was a stretch of my life when I didn’t much want to be a friend all of the time.
Maybe it’s because I’ve grown up some, but now I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be a friend.
I don’t think it’s a bad legacy to leave, to have someone stand at your funeral and say you were a good friend.
You don’t have to look far to see there are so many burdens in the world.
People struggle to shoulder them every day.
Sometimes, they need a friend.
I’ll do my best to sum up how we can all try to be a friend to somebody.
Do what you can to make their burden light.