When I was 17 I attended a tertiary college to study secretarial skills…Office work was and has never been a subject I enjoy, however it has proven to be the foundation of my business skills, so for that, I am grateful…One morning, before class a lady approached me while I was sitting on a bench, minding my own business. She introduced herself and began to talk…She was in her late 30’s, re-training now her kids were older and she was very sad and very alone…but not because of her change in life…She felt this way because of an unresolved family feud, resulting in unfinished business and the lost chance to say ‘I love You’ to her Father before he died.
She was so very sad as she recounted having found out that her Father was in his death bed and that she had been deliberately left out of the Family call around for the gathering to say goodbye. When she arrived at the Hospital, it was too late. Her Father had gone and he died a bitter man towards his beautiful girl… Here sat before me, a broken Woman. A woman who could never say ‘I forgive you’ or ‘I’m sorry, please forgive me’, a woman who would die herself one day with that unhealed heart. I was 17, I did not have the emotional maturity or life skills to counsel her. I just sat with her and let her talk…I felt very sad for her and I thought to myself ‘No matter what, I’m never going to let a chance go by, to tell my family that I love them’.
My Mother told me that I had a very trustworthy face, because the more I ventured out into the world, the more strangers would seek me out to confess their sins or tell me their storeys of regret. It was a burden for me, because I just didn’t know how to deal with it, but it was a release for them, because they felt they were connecting with someone who cared…and I did care, that is why I felt it was a burden. I didn’t know how to help these people and I just didn’t know why they were all coming to me.
However, looking back on those times, I now know why they chose me…Because I was born to give others Spiritual Counsel. It is in my capacity as a Funeral Celebrant, that I find myself wishing I had met some of these people long before the death of their loved one. Because it never ceases to sadden me to see the hurt and disappointment of family members estranged, never to speak again and cursed with this decision as one of them dies.
The institution of Family is a major part of every Human’s life. It is a fundamental part of your creation to be a member of a family unit, a Clan or a Tribe. When that institution breaks down, for one reason or another…it is imperative that the family members re-unite under a common umbrella. They need to rise above the issue and see that love is more important. Because you never know when your time is up, or when it is theirs.
I have family members who live in different locations around Brisbane and Queensland, Scotland, England and the USA. After that conversation with that lady, all those years ago, I realised that if I had to drive for two hours to spend 5 minutes with a Family member, it was worth it. If I travelled half way around the world and only got a window of an hour with someone in my family, no matter how emotionally close they are to me, or not…I would be grateful for every second. Because they are your blood. Your ancestors, your DNA. They are more important than money, material goods, popularity or power.
When I give a Funeral Service, I often find that there are one or two people in the official party, who want to make the day ‘all about them’. They ignore the proceedings of the day and create a sideline event, or they dress inappropriately or they are loud and rude during the service. These people have forgotten what the meaning of Family is. They have forgotten their own hearts too. They have been drawn into the illusion of the instant gratification culture, the meanness of ‘give me, give me, give me.’ And they have created for themselves a day of regret. It may not dawn on them that day, or later that month…but it will hit them hard when it does. Because, at the heart of it all, Family is there. Deep within your Soul, there is a connection that is forged in the White Light of the Source of All There Is.
The band ‘Mike and the Mechanics’ wrote a song about this subject, you may have heard it on the Radio – ‘In the Living years’. It is a song that always brings a tear to my eye, because I have witnessed the results of so many family feuds, over the time I have been a Spiritual Adviser and Funeral Celebrant.
Is there someone in your family who doesn’t see eye to eye with you? Is there someone you are angry with or who you just can’t face because of whatever reason? Don’t let that bad feeling sit and fester for another second. Write them a note. Send them a card. Tell them that no matter what has gone on before, you love them dearly and you are always going to be their champion, tell them you forgive them…
Because one day, one of you will die, and for the one left behind it will be too late.