Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

The older I get, the more frequently I find myself honoring friends at their funerals.  Yesterday, we honored a gentleman who sang in our church choir.  I left his funeral worried about dying.

Oh, I listened to my pastor’s message, and as a Christian, I’m not afraid.  I’m not all that ready right now, but I’m not afraid.  So why did I leave the funeral worried about dying?

Because I know my friends.  Yesterday, one minister read memories about the deceased from his family.  How beautiful.  He was absolutely one of the kindest, sweetest, most thoughtful people ever to live.  What a tribute!  Then another minister gave individuals an opportunity to come forward.  Four did, and the brief stories added to the man’s gold crown.  In my short experience with him, all this was true.

I cannot die!  Being “the class clown” and an outspoken guy and someone who tends to jump into things head first, I’m afraid there would be a line of people around the church longer than the Macy’s Christmas Parade wanting to say something about me.  I’m moderately sure I can brow beat my family into dropping the words “sweet, kind, or thoughtful” now and then.  But, you really can’t trust people when you’re gone.

If I can look down and see people from my high school or college days walking up the steps of the church, I’m going to be searching for boiling oil to pour down in front of them. (I don’t want to hurt them, just scare them.  And, YES!!! I plan on being UP THERE.)

As a one-liner comic relief guy, it always scares me a bit when someone starts to quote something they heard me say.  In a small group, I don’t much mind that.  But, at my funeral, which also promises to be a small group, I don’t want to go out that way.

My friend, Pete, once introduced me to an Emmaus group as a prayer warrior.  But, do you think people like Pete will step forward.  Probably not.  No!  It will be people with funny stories (funny to them, that is) who share quotes and snippets from my sometimes colorful past.  Actually, I really don’t think there will be a lot of people at my funeral.  And, on second thought, there probably won’t be “all that many” embarrassing stories.  Most people from my past who know the “really good stuff” can’t remember them anymore.  Yet, we all know it only takes one good tale to paint a vivid picture.

I’m considering contracting with a tazer service that will stand guard in front of the sanctuary and walk up and down the aisles.  I think them wearing white robes would be a nice touch.  Don’t you?

Date of Blog Story: 
November 17, 2010

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