“Barry, I don’t want a traditional funeral…”

 

23 The man said,“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,  for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.               Genesis 2: 23-24 NIV

Shortly after Libby died, I read those two verses in a email I received from Grief Share along with the following commentary which seemed to vividly describe my feelings: 

The pain that comes from the loss of a spouse is much deeper than most people realize because in a marital relationship two people become one flesh and when part of your flesh is abruptly taken away, there is a ripping and a tearing that leaves a huge, open wound. Until you have experienced the death of a spouse, there is no way you can tell someone how deep the hurt is. The Lord says that we are one flesh, and suddenly half of that flesh is torn from us,”

Several months before she died, Libby gave very specific instructions about her funeral, or more correctly, her memorial service, when she said, “I don’t want a traditional funeral with people standing around crying, and I don’t want a bunch ‘funeral songs’ sung, instead, I want upbeat music and a celebration. After the service I want all of my friends and family to visit with one another and eat together.”

Then Libby asked me for a favor that, at the time, I wasn’t sure I would be able to grant: “Barry,” she said, “I want you to tell some funny stories during the service, keep it light and make people laugh. But if you think you are going to cry you need to skip that part.”

I told Libby, “I’m not sure if I can do that, besides, what makes you think I can come with any funny stories?” Libby rolled her eyes at me the way she always did when she didn’t believe anything I was saying.

4 thoughts on ““Barry, I don’t want a traditional funeral…”

  1. Nathan D Gilley

    And what a spirit of joy and praise we did enjoy at mom’s homegoing! Thank you for selflessly honoring mom by putting aside your heart wrenching grief to make her memorial service full of laughter, joy, and fellowship amidst tears and grief. What a picture of Christian life in this world awaiting the resurrection.

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  2. Anonymous

    Sure hope your heart is healing, Barry! I know It was badly broken, but Libby would not want you to grieve too long! Thanks again for sharing. Libby’s memorial service was beautiful, and you did a great job, just like she wanted it! Sandy Martin

    Like

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