The Gift of Reflection

Today, I attended a funeral. The third in two weeks. Sadly, one of them was for a young woman in her thirties. One of them was for my favorite uncle. And today was for a wonderful person, a woman I have know since I was a child. A woman who was one of my older sister’s best friends. A woman who was a neighbor of ours for the last ten years. That’s the facts.

But life is so much more than facts. Life is an emotion-filled learning experience. Today’s funeral mass is one that will long be remember, not only as a loving tribute to this beautiful woman, but as a learning experience. Often, when we attend the funeral of people in their seventies and eighties, the church is filled with younger folks. Friends of their children are there to pay their respects. At this Mass, Mike and I sat in back of the church. All the better to witness the myriad of older people in attendance. Clearly, this woman had made a significant impact on her peers. The poignant eulogy delivered by one of her daughters, confirmed this observation. In the eulogy, we learned about Janet’s quiet kindness, unfailing faith, devotion to her family, strength in difficult situations, humor and her commitment to serve others. One cannot be confronted with the exemplary life of another, without examining their own life.

Janet will be missed by many. But in death, Janet’s beautiful life will now serve as a reminder to reach out to others and be the best that I can be. Today, was tearful and wretching, but offered the gift of reflection. It offered another chance to press pause in my busy life and remind myself to stay true to my convictions and live life with love, laughter and kindness to others. Rest in peace, Janet!

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