Saturday, October 15, 2011 is perfected by death

“Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by Death." -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

One of the great ironies to me about funerals: it isn’t until people pass away that you learn so many insights into their character and personalities.

Maybe it’s because I’m aging but I find funerals inspiring. Technically, I guess we are all aging but sometimes the cadence quickens as you get closer to the “seniors” category.

Anyway, I leave funerals with a desire to be better in many of my roles (as a mother, as a friend, as a sister, a daughter, and maybe one day a grandmother, too).

There is something really touching about hearing grandchildren share tender memories. At Carol Holland’s funeral yesterday it was sweet to hear Connor and Alex read letters from Hermana Holland and Elder Langlois (Carol’s two missionary grandkids). Sara Langlois, Paige’s former volleyball teammate, spoke on behalf of all the grandchildren and shared darling comments.

Funerals give us a glimpse of people at other stages of life or in other relationships. I always leave feeling sorry I haven’t known the deceased longer or better but grateful that our paths crossed, so my my life was enriched by knowing them.

“You give me a kiss, you give me a hug.
You smile when you see me too.
I wish every child in the whole wide world.
Had a grandmother, just like you."
- Grandmother song, by Nellie Sorenson, recited at Carol Holland’s funeral by Sara Langlois in tribute to her grandmother.