Sometimes, it’s OK to laugh at funerals.
I know that sounds weird. Some people would take offense. Some people have never been to a funeral where mixed in with the grief and sadness are occasional moments of joy. And laughter.
We laughed at the enormous spray of lovely flowers strategically set in a place of honor at the funeral home. Flowers for “Beloved Uncle Jerry”. Dad’s name wasn’t Jerry. As the funeral director hastily whisked the flowers away, we hoped that whoever Uncle Jerry was, he had them in time for his service.
And we laughed when we asked if the funeral home had any thumbtacks for us to use on our photo memory boards. They said they did, and handed us a beautiful cut-crystal bowl filled with a wide array of brightly colored pushpins. We promptly named the bowl “The Candy Dish of Danger” and laughed every time we went to grab a handful of tacks.
We laughed at the stories of Dad’s fishing adventures and boyhood antics as they were told by family members at the memorial service. We think Dad would have laughed, too. He loved a good story.
Of course losing Dad so unexpectedly wasn’t fun. But our family loves to laugh, and God gave us – and continues to give us – moments that make us smile, moments that remind us of the hope we have within us, moments that remind us that He is still good, and still in the business of joy.
Christian funerals should be different. We know where Dad is today. We know we’ll see him again. And we know that God is watching over those of us left behind.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT)
Yes, we grieve. But sometimes a good laugh and a big smile remind us that we indeed have…hope.
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. Psalm 5:11
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11