The Meenister’s Log
Being conscious of how you want people to see and remember you helps you make better choices. We should strive to have as many years as we can to solidify the image people have of us in a good way.
A Parishioner (not a Church member) whom I knew phoned me to say that her mother had died and asked if I would conduct the funeral service at the crematorium – to which I agreed.
Instead of meeting with the family beforehand in this daughter’s house, it was decided that we should get together at her sister’s home which was a few miles away.
I duly arrived at this large, imposing home and was ushered upstairs to the Drawing Room.
After offering the appropriate condolences, we started to discuss the details of the service.
“Do you have any hymns in mind?”
“What about the 23rd Psalm?”
“I don’t think so” said a son-in-law of the old lady “Is there really any need for music?”
“No,not at all – the organist will play something appropriate before and after the Service”
Then I said, “I didn’t know Mrs Smith – I wonder if you could tell me a little bit about her so that I can say a few words by way of tribute”
“Well, was she a quiet person, or an outgoing sort of lady.. did she have any hobbies or interests… and so on..?”
Silence – then, from the same son-in-law, “She was a dreadful, unpleasant old woman – we’d prefer if you said nothing about her”
The day of the funeral. I couldn’t say nothing, so simply described her as a “wife, mother and grandmother to the family”
A few days later, I received a letter from the other daughter (not the one I knew): “Thank you for performing the funeral service of the late Mrs Smith (note, not “my mother” but “the late Mrs Smith”) even although it was not what we had wanted”