The decedent’s family is a blended family. Blended families can be challenging for a funeral director. There are often underlying issues and aggressions that can erupt at inopportune moments. This family, although blended, held no surprises. They were kind and gentle to each other, and my heart was overjoyed at the precious memories they would carry with them, from this day forward. Their pastor’s words reflected their behavior and impressed upon the congregation, hope for their future.
His inspirational words advised all families to build memories together at every moment possible. Memories outlive us and sustain our families once our death has occurred. Good memories help families recover from loss and give them strength when they would rather give up. They nurture our loved ones, and in our absence, help them battle and overcome their weaknesses.
As I observed this family today, I saw the excellent men their father had raised. They were respectful and loving to their stepmother. They had compassion for her above their own sorrows. Their memories of their father will forever sustain them through their trials in life, and the firm foundation, which he built for them, will forever keep them honorable.
As today's services came to an end, I wondered would someone in the blended family waylay the final moments of the service with an underlying issue. Instead, I witnessed the love and respect these two exceptional men held for their stepmother. They revered and appreciated her love for their father.
As the final hymn filled the sanctuary with worship, the widow rose to her feet. She reached toward heaven and with trembling hands, pleaded with God to accept her husband into his presence. As I witnessed the raw emotion of a recent widow, my eyes filled with tears for her pain. Moreover, I pondered her depth of love for her departed husband. He had blessed her with a life of love and companionship, and he had raised choice sons to love and protect her until the blessed day of their reunion in heaven. These two fine men, raised so well by their beloved father, unknowingly elevated the bar of honor, behavior, cooperation, and respect.
At the end of the day I realized, the decedent and his family had given me a number of surprise gifts after all: a joyful heart, the experience of seeing exceptional men behave exceptionally, and an absence of unwelcome eruptions at inopportune moments.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author, and professional speaker. I write books and weekly bereavement articles related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award. I deliver powerful messages and motivate audiences toward positive recovery. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.