Sunday, February 27, 2011

Response and Responsibility

Jun 21, 2010

Just two days ago I attended a memorial service for two people who had passed away.  I won’t list their names or their family’s name due to privacy concerns.  I will admit that I did not know them that well.  I actually knew their children better.  I wanted to attend this memorial so I would have a chance to support their children.  There’s an old saying that goes, “Memorials aren’t for the dead, but for friends and family members.”  I honestly believe that is true.  The best thing a person can do is go and support their friends and family.  I personally believe that doing so is a selfless act, and shows true kindness.  In a way it is also a responsibility to our friends and family members that we are unconditional givers of support.
It was fifteen years ago when my Dad gave me some great advice.  It was before my friend Chris’s funeral when he sat me down and told me some great, but hard advice.  He told me, “Son, people do and say weird things at a funeral.  I don’t want you to get angry.  I don’t want you to get into an argument.  Either let them talk or walk away.  Don’t make yourself look bad for other people’s stupidity.”
Before I left for the service of the two people who passed away my Dad gave me the same advice.  He told me, “Son, it’s going to be a very stressful time.  People are going to do and say weird things.  Let it go.”  So, me and my girlfriend Roxy (not her real name) arrived at the memorial service at the perfect time.  About half the people had already arrived, and half were still coming.  So we made it right in the middle.  We said hello to the people we knew.  We took our seats, and politely waited. 
Then came the thing that Dad warned me about.  A woman sitting in the family section asked a woman (I don’t want to give her name due to privacy.  I will say she was a good friend of the deceased,) “Is this a Catholic service?”  The friend said, “No, it’s really non-denominational. “  Then the Catholic woman asked, “Will there be any mention of Jesus or God?”  The friend said, “There might be a little bit of everything.”  Now at this point there was no mention of the P or W words.  (Note: Pagan or Wicca.)
It was then that the Catholic woman told the two people that were with her that they were leaving.  They got up, and collected a crucifix and two other items they had brought and set on the altar.  They then left and never returned.  I did not know who they were or who they were related to.  It upset me greatly that this service was mainly for the four children left behind, and they wanted to play politics with religion.  How dare them.  How dare them. 
How we respond to others is ever so important.  Every choice we make has an effect.  The effect that the Catholic woman and her friends will have on the children will be felt for a long time.  It will not be a good effect.  The children will know that when the responsibility of supporting them was at that time, the woman and her friends choose politics over family.

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