Today's letter F post for the A to Z challenge may sound a bit depressing, but I promise you it won't be.
This afternoon I attended my first funeral since my fathers passing in 2002, I did not know what to expect, because I realise I have only attended one funeral and it was of such a close deep relationship like it was of my father that I was a bit apprehensive. However, this time it was beautiful to have the veil lifted from my eyes at a memoriam of love from a family I am not close to, but I have witnessed for many years.
I won't name names because it's a private affair grief and loss, but I had watched over this woman for many years from a distance, occasionally chatting to her, but mainly from a distance and I had judgements of her and her family.
What I witnessed in her later years was a lot of negativity and complaining and someone who did not love life, but hearing from the family today really opened my heart, not only to the loss for her husband, but also the love they share as a really close family.
Watching tears fall, laughter shared, and genuine closeness I felt soft in my heart towards someone I thought of very differently. It just goes to show we cannot possibly know what goes on behind walls and within families. We can only perceive what we see through our own filters and conditioned thinking.
As the family, daily, over the years would say good bye with 'love you', I judged it as insincere. I assumed they said it almost as automatic as a goodbye, with no meaning, but today I was shown my mistake. REAL LOVE... real care... real unity.
I never had this in my family. It is not something I have ever felt, that closeness, that unity. Yes people would come together in times of challenge, but I never felt the love and intimate closeness I viewed today.
I am in awe at this and also in awe at some of my own judgements I have been carrying about others. I don't feel shame, just acceptance, I was wrong and knowledge can create change and for this I am very grateful.
And what made this even more poignant was that I always found churches stuffy and very patriarchal, but the service was led by a female vicar with dyed silver hair with purple streaks, a modern woman and the entire service and church was full of the divine feminine. I needed this reminder that not all church institutions are stuffy, dense and heavy.
And may the lady who has left this mortal coil be blessed with peace, joy and lots of dancing (her family said she loved dancing). And may her families grief by filled with grace and connection with one another.
Has a funeral ever opened your heart in this way?
Author of 'When Everyone Shines But You'. Passionate about helping others remember who they are. Manager of an editorial & publishing support business and social media whizz.