Girls Write Out
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I didn't blog last Wednesday because I was spending the day surrounded by family, celebrating a life well lived, and my wonderful, gregarious, life-loving Aunt Betty's promotion to heaven. Over the years, I have become somewhat of an expert at funerals. I started attending them when I was eight, when my Uncle Ivan died. Ironically, when I attended Aunt Betty's funeral last week and stayed with one of my fifty-five first cousins, I bunked in a bedroom with my cousin, Charlene--who was Uncle Ivan's daughter. How precious family becomes at times like this.

When one lives in a small town for forty-four years, and is related to someone in practically every state in the union, plus several countries, one tends to say goodbye a lot. I try not to take life for granted, but in reality, true life has already begun for the deceased as loved ones are making plans for the funeral. It's why I pray for those family members and friends whose walk with God is unknown to me. It's why I love to hear the message of Christ preached at funerals. I once witnessed multiple decisions made for Christ at the funeral of a Christian teenager when the pastor had an altar call at the request of the family. How my young friend must have been blessed as she looked on from her new home in heaven.

The real message that reaches those at the funeral is the life of the deceased. I love it when the pastor urges friends and family of the deceased to share stories. Some of the best funerals are the ones where jokes are told, the people can't help laughing, and everyone knows they'll be sharing even more funny and endearing stories in heaven someday. Laughter through tears is one of the most memorable emotions--so close to true life.

If you're ever at a funeral and are asked to speak a few kind words about the deceased for the sake of family, please do so. You'll never know this side of heaven how you will bless those who grieve. Our tears can be turned to joy with just a few words of truth.

How about you? How do you want to be remembered in the distant future, when your life--well-lived--has taken you on to heaven? What do you want as your legacy?

I want mine to be authentic. I want people to know I messed up over and over, that I didn't live a perfect life, and that it was still okay. God loved me because He saw Christ covering me. I want those who don't know Him to have a final chance for me to lead them home.

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 12:26 AM  
  Comments (6)
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At 1:54 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

I want to be remembered as a teacher/administrator who was real, loved God, and cared about kids. I want students to remember that they had a good time--and learned stuff, too--in my classes. (I want them to enjoy literature, thanks to taking my classes!) I want them to recall that I was really silly sometimes (e.g., this Friday I'm going to baton-twirl an ice hockey stick to "Stars and Stripes Forever" at our closing assembly).

At 1:59 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

P.S. Maybe I already said this on GWO, but my dad died of cancer in 1992. Before he died, he gave his testimony on tape--which was played at his funeral. It was something he really wanted. It kind of freaked out some people in the audience, I think, but why not? My dad always liked to have the last say...and he did, with an altar call, too! Yay!

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, I love that idea, Pam. I'd like to leave something like that behind. My father died in 92, as well, and I read a eulogy off-stage. When I started crying and couldn't continue, a friend of mine, whose voice sounded like mine, picked up where I left off, and even my mother couldn't tell the difference.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

PS: Just remember when you're asked to speak in front of a group of funeral goers, they aren't there to criticize you, they're there to hear anything they can about their loved one. That's what you focus on. Something happy or tender or kind about the loved one.

At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice, Hannah. My husband always says he loves going to funerals. We like to attend funerals to support his co-workers when they lose a loved one and it's fascinating to hear the stories of someone's life whom I'll never meet. It's a reminder that love is universal. It sure makes me enjoy people.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Katie, I'm just glad people are willing to speak up so you CAN hear about the deceased. Too often, the minister may not have known the person well, and you don't get a good idea about what that person was like.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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