There have been many funerals that I have attended in my life. I distinctly recall that one of the first times Melissa and I spent time together while dating was attending a funeral of a classmate of ours. Death is never a subject that we should take lightly, but we cannot be afraid of it either. In God’s Word we learn a lot about death and mourning, and He does a great job of conveying the lessons that we should learn from these experiences.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-4, “A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one's birth; Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.”
Why is this passage teaching that a funeral is sometimes better than a party? Because there are some inherent blessings even in grieving over the loss of a loved one. One such blessing is family. Often when attending a funeral or memorial service I will see families coming together through the most difficult times. I will often hear something like “It’s so good to see you, even though its through these circumstances”. That sentiment reminds me that sometimes in life we can get so busy we forget to spend time with the ones we love the most. Sometimes it takes a serious event like a death to bring families and friends together again.
A second such blessing in these moments is the “reality factor”. We recognize that death is a part of life and at one time or another in the future we are all going to have to face leaving this life too. There are many stories about people who have changed their lives for the better when confronted with the reality that life truly is short and precious. While it is sad that we lose the ones we love, the knowledge of it should motivate us to do the most we can with the time God gives us.
So while no one likes talking about death, it can be a blessing in disguise in some ways. Let us not get so caught up in life, that we forget to truly live the way God would have us to.