Have you ever heard about the proverbial “ELEPHANT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM”? Everybody pretends it isn’t there so we talk around it and ignore it! Well, this saying refers to a condition, an event, a situation or a task which we do not want to face or even admit that it’s there! But pretty soon the elephant (that situation we don’t address) comes crashing through the door; and the what?? We are forced to look at it head on. Pretty hard to ignore an approaching elephant for very long!
ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS WE CAN LEAVE OUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES WHEN WE DIE IS OUR PLANNED FUNERAL. Now how about THAT for an elephant? Several years ago Fr. Jerry asked a few parishioners to form a committee to assist people to do this with the aid of a form to fill out and use of a book which has suggested reading and hymns. (This book is left in the church) The idea is that your celebration will fit who you are, what your legacy is, and YOU’D like to have read and sung at your liturgical celebration. As we all know and have experienced, the time immediately surrounding the death of a loved one, whether expected or nor, is a highly stressful time. But if the family and priest know what you have requested and relief of having this already in place is almost palpable; it is such a relief to all involved AND they will also be so happy that all of this is in writing; no guessing what hymns were your favorite or what readings would be appropriate for you. It is a well known fact that people just cannot make good judgments and/or decisions at this time of grieving and loss. Having done Hospice Nursing for many years and gave me and others great insight into the beauty and necessity of this arrangement.
Many of our Hospice patients had already don this even before they came into the program. It has been a few years since the committee urged all of us to plan our funerals; make a copy for your loved ones and give one to the rectory, if Nativity is where you will have having your funeral. Those of you who have already done this may want to update your copy. And congratulations to you for taking that step! It is so important. Forms will be available in Church; take one or two home and if you have not already thought about this important step in your ”journey,” I urge you to make this a commitment and follow through! In other words, don’t take it home and put it on the dining room table never to be seen again! It might be easier to carry this out if you think of it as a GIFT!! And it truly will be. God bless you!