"On the Loss of a Parent"

rsz_loss_of_a_parentSadly the funeral guy was back in business last Friday.  In case you missed it ‘funeral guy’ is what my wife and kids started calling me several years ago because it seemed I was going to funerals much too often. Sometimes I didn’t even know the deceased or their family but would attend as a representative for my dad who wasn’t always able to attend. Yeah I’ve been to way too many funerals, I definitely qualify as a funeral guy, and I’m not alone. There are at least 3 other funeral guys that I know of. I’m forever running into them at services especially if the deceased was an Azusa resident. We sometimes make light of how we always seem to see each other at so many funerals but it’s no joke, we really are the funeral guys.We sincerely believe that it is important to take the time out of our schedules to pay respects to the families of the deceased, to support them and  let them know that their loved one touched our lives and made a difference. I’m sure there are countless others like us out there, other funeral guys (and women) who believe in the importance of paying our respects that one last time.

This time around  the services were for the mother of an old friend I’ve known since the 5th grade. Although I’ve only seen him once in the last twenty some years at his son’s wedding about six years ago, I felt compelled to attend. He was a good friend and the loss of a parent, whether they die at a young age, unexpectedly or lived a long life is still a shock to the system. It doesn’t matter how close you were to them, whether you saw them frequently or not, or even spoke with them regularly, life without them will never be the same. No one can ever love you with the devotion of a parent. No matter how strong or independent you believe yourself to be, the death of a parent will still mess with your mind and takes time to come to terms with.  The only thing worse than losing a parent is the death of a spouse or one of your children.

My friend’s mom was blessed with a long life, she was 88 when she passed. I will always remember her as being a very kind and gentle woman. She always treated me and the other guys well when we were at their home visiting her boys. I can’t remember ever hearing her speak crossly or with anger. She alway seemed so pleasant and content with her life. Her family was very lucky to have her as long as they did.  I hope they find comfort in the many memories they have and cherished each and every moment. I’msure she is now resting comfortably in the arms of the Lord.

We all deal with the death of a parent differently.  My mom was only 64 when she passed. She’s been gone nearly 24 years and I still miss her so much. Her death was sudden and completely unexpected. Let me tell you, I had a hell of a time wrapping my mind around the fact that she would no longer be there for us. I was an emotional and spiritual mess for quite some time. I don’t wish what I went through on anyone. One thing I would suggest and wish I had done myself is to write everything you remember about your departed parent down and I mean everything even the silliest of things, no matter how unimportant you think it may be. Not only will the act of writing be therapeutic, One day when you’re older what you have written will be an invaluable source of joy to you and help you to remember. Not that you will ever forget your parent, you never will, but as the years pass many of the smaller details begin to get a little fuzzy around the edges. By writing everything down you will recall it all in vivid detail. I’m sure it will not only serve as a reminder, but will also bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Like I said I wish I had thought to do it. I’m sure the pages would be quite tattered after all these years.


The Funeral Guy





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