I didn’t even know her. We never met. But I was there to say goodbye.
I read something years and years and years ago that said “go to the funeral…go to the wedding”. I don’t even remember where I read it. But it has stuck with me, and if I’m honest kinda haunted me all these years. We get invitations all the time: weddings, baby showers, graduation open houses. And although we don’t technically get an invite to a funeral, we see the notice and we know we have a friend hurting.
You’ll say to yourself, “oh that’s sad, I’ll pray for that family…or maybe send a card”. You might send up a quick prayer, time will pass and you’ll forget to send a card, and time will go on and you’ll live your life and your friend will still be grieving. Sometimes months, years, or even decades later.
But what if you show up? What if you go to the funeral? Even if you don’t know the lost loved one. Even if you don’t know what to say. Even if you don’t know when to stand and when to sit and when to kneel. Show up.
I’m saying this to myself, by the way. I spend way too much time regretting how I spent my time. Does that make sense? What did I do yesterday that mattered more than being there for someone? I can’t think of a thing. I worked, I cooked a couple meals, I watched TV, I did a few loads of laundry, I watered my flowers, and I went to a funeral. I didn’t even know her, but I went because I want to be THAT person. No, I didn’t know what to say or what to do half the time, but I was there for the family. Even if they don’t remember that I was there longer than tomorrow, I will remember. Even if I didn’t know what to say, I prayed it would be some comfort. Psalm 19:14 “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”
I always try to ask myself “Which decision will I regret more a week from now? Going? Or not going?” Go to the wedding. Go to the funeral. Show up for people. You won’t regret it.