Life at a funeral

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent, but bear with me.

I went to a funeral on Sunday for a friend of the family, a barely middle-aged man who just 5 months ago seemed perfectly healthy. The eulogies were – well, they left few dry eyes in the synagogue. But they said everything that they should have, reflecting on the character of the man himself and the impact that he made on the mass of people that turned out on a Sunday afternoon to pay their respects to the family he leaves behind, a fabulously positive wife, two brilliant children, and a tenacious mother who is no stranger to adversity.

As I listened to people speak about his life, they were celebrating his many facets: family, friends, hobbies, religion and spirituality, hopes and dreams, love, career. And the thing is, each person that got up there spoke about each and every one of those aspects of him since all of them combined to make up who he was.

What struck a chord in me is how one person touched so many people in so many arenas. And he did that without missing nightly dinners at home, concerts, performances or family events. Work was important to him, but it wasn’t the only thing he had going on.

I’m no expert on careers or on life, but listening to what was said, I would love to think that the same could be said about me some day. And I know that if I spend my life consumed in nothing but work, it ain’t gonna happen.

And if you think about it, having all work with nothing to balance it out won’t do you any good in that arena either. So, I plan to rekindle some old relationships and maybe dive into something new to try and build a sense of balance for myself. That way I’ll be able to strengthen my ties across the board and feel connected to the people in my life. And that’ll help me do better in everything, whether that’s work work, dancing, my social life or something else.

Looking forward, what kind of balance do you see for yourself? Are you at a point in where you feel balanced now? How’d you get there?

It’s an odd feeling to lose someone with that close of a connection, someone the same age as my mother, and it leaves me a bit unsettled. I’d love to hear from you and see where you stand now in your career and in your life, whether you’re at the beginning, in the middle or towards the end.


2 responses to “Life at a funeral

  1. It isn’t fair that we often need a wake up call like this to balance our lives. Most people might think about it for a couple of hours, days or even weeks then go on with their normal lives. Normal lives that get wound up in a television show or work or social activities or whatever.

    What pushes us over the edge into a phase of life that we appreciate and build with those closest to us? I don’t have that answer either.

  2. That’s a good point, Lance. I do wonder what it is that makes us really take a look at what we’re doing and change who we are on a fundamental level. Some people might say that we don’t ever really change. I haven’t gotten so cynical to say that, but I do think it takes some core-shaking event to make that change happen.

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