By: Martianne Stanger
This past year, my children and I did an odd thing: We went to the funeral of someone we never knew when she was living.
Being 2020, it was just a quick, socially-distant, outside, graveside service.
In fact, it took us longer to get to than it did to honor and pray for the dead in the abbreviated cemetery service.
So, why even go? Some asked us.
Why make time to be present in burying a deceased woman you never knew when she was alive?
Because it was important.
To her family.
To my family.
To our hearts.
You see, the woman was the beloved grandmother of one of my children’s best friends.
Her family – our dear friends – were in great sorrow and wanted to give her a huge and loving send off with all the typical pre-2020 traditions, but they couldn’t.
Meanwhile, our family had literally just lost our beloved Papa in another state.
We were mourning deeply and, with our own sorrowful hearts, knew without question how important it is at a time of loss, to love the living while honoring the deceased.
So, we did what we could. We drove over to the cemetery a few towns away to bury a beloved mother, grandmother, and woman we never knew in life, but whose legacy lives on in people we do know, care about, and love.
Meanwhile, in our hearts, we made an earthly farewell to the man we could not be there to bury – our Papa.
And, praying for and honoring both people in our hearts – our Papa and our friends’ beloved deceased – we carried on in the odd way modern times mandate.
Burying the dead 2020’s-style may not have looked much like burying the dead used to, but it is still important – and act of service and love.
And that is why we went to the funeral of a woman we never knew in life. A woman who is loved and missed. A woman who is remembered. A woman we are grateful for even if we only know the legacy she leaves behind.
Rest in peace, dear woman. Rest in peace, dear Papa. Rest in peace, all early departed.
Carry on, living. Live well and honor one another as best as you can in each moment you are blessed with.