Sunday, June 17, 2012


I am not going to be writing my usual blog this week. I’ve been out of town, visiting my sister. My brother-in-law passed away last month and I came out to attend his memorial service and to offer whatever comfort I could.
            There’s not much to say at a time like this but, having been in the same situation only a few years ago, I am mindful of what platitudes not to express. (To be reminded of this, check the archives for my blog entitled, “What Not To Say To Someone In Mourning”).
            The service was lovely. I, and several other family members, spoke eloquently about Larry and the man he was. We shared humorous anecdotes and talked about Larry’s many good qualities.
 My nephew, to his credit, spoke not only of my brother-in-law’s good qualities but also reminded us that his uncle, like the rest of us, was not a saint. He had his weaknesses, made his share of mistakes, and so on.  Too often we idealize a person posthumously, elevating our loved ones to an exalted status. Why do we do this?  Is it because we only wish to remember the deceased as a perfect person?  In life, didn’t we love and accept him or her, shortcomings and all?
People came from great distances to attend the memorial service which was a tribute to the many lives Larry touched. I was brought back to my husband Rick’s service which was attended by about 700 people. I remember thinking at that time how honored Rick would have been and how much he, himself, would love to have attended the service, seeing people he had not seen in years.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned here, if there is one, is not only to treat each other with kindness, but to go out of our way to keep up with old acquaintances and relations, attend that family function or that reunion you weren’t sure you’d be going to. Though it’s good to be able to attend a loved one’s memorial service, it’s even better to be there for that person in life.

Thanks for joining me on Rhodes Less Traveled,



  1. Well said, I have learned to treasure each moment. Thanks for sharing. Laurie

  2. Precisely. Robyn