I went to a funeral today and I am always struck at how people remember the deceased. I know I am no better and all sin is the same before God.
People remembered this person differently from the impression I had of him. He could turn the air blue with his swearing. He was very wealthy and had two daughters who didn't speak to him or visit him or send him cards on Father's Day or anything of the sort. He used to give them thousands of dollars at a time and when they kept coming back for more and more and more; he finally ended it. They stopped speaking. They just now started coming back around when he got sick. He was 91 and a bowel blockage took his life. The daughters and the son were not at the casket receiving people when I walked in. I saw no tears.
If the relationship isn't built when the children are young, it is nearly impossible to do so later. He owned a business and was occupied with getting rich (he gave $100,000 to the hospital one year). He had to have been a hard worker and very conscientious to build his casket company like he did. My aunt, who was his long-time companion, said once that he would never live long enough to spend his money. She is the executrix of his will and it has been a nightmare dealing with his daughters.
One man spoke and related stories from various people in the family about him. There was nothing really too personal. This friend of his said he was non-confrontational; I thought he could be quite belligerent. He did provide a house for my aunt's grandson. Maybe he was too generous. He loved to play gin rummy and had my Mom and Dad over often to play it. He was a good host when we were there. I wonder why some people are better with those outside their family than they are with their own wives and children?
How much can we tell about a person at that person's funeral? There really weren't too many people there.
A friend's brother died in a motorcycle accident while drunk. He used drugs. When she spoke at his funeral she pointed above to indicate where he was now. It's not my call; I know that.
I hope I am living in such a way that people will mourn my death and miss me for personal reasons. I hope I am remembered for being a good example and a good influence - it sure won't be for how much money they are going to get.