In light of how much I despise funerals, you can imagine how much I love working on funeral programs as part of my job. Funerals are inconvenient by nature (death is, I suppose) since they’re thrown together in a matter of days. The funeral program becomes a priority on top of my normal workload.
Beyond all that, though, working on them absolutely breaks my heart. I work with a pastor, who acts as a liaison with the family in order to get the information necessary for the funeral – and, consequently, the bulletin. Through the pastors, I hear stories of heartbreak and loss. Breakdowns and shock. Anger and sadness. My compassionate heart hurts for them and often bears their burdens.
Grace hosted a funeral on Saturday for a 35-year-old who was bi-polar and ADHD, on top of battling multiple addictions. He was found 6 days after he died in his apartment of an apparent heroin overdose. Next week we’ll host a memorial service for an 18-year-old who was murdered by a man he met online. (His body has still not been recovered after searching for over a week in an area landfill.)
Though funeral programs are difficult for me to even work on, I can’t imagine how much more difficult it is for the mourning families. I try to remember to pray for them as I work on personalizing each bulletin.
Somewhere through all the phobia, hurt, and hassle, it’s somewhat comforting to know that a few hours of my time and talents can somehow touch a hurting family. And that makes it all worth it.