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The Funeral Experience

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    The Life of Gary I attended the funeral of a good friend’s dad this weekend. It was a somber experience. The speaker was a Chaplin from Hospice of the Valley. He was an elder gentleman was a good speaker that held the audience’s attention. His speech was done in a chronological order, starting with Gary as a child, all the way until the end. The audience was a mix of people. There was a group of guys from Gary’s work and they were very well dressed. You could see the difference from generation to generation not just in looks but in mannerisms also.

    Most of Lee’s friends didn’t even dress up; they were wearing jeans and t-shirts. It was the first funeral that I had been to that during the ceremony there was kids running around. It was a little weird, we are supposed to be mourning and the kids were just running amok, although some of the childrens’ antics allowed some of us the chance to smile. The speaker just rolled with it and didn’t skip a beat. When it came time for the family to speak it was a little rough.

    First up was Gary’s daughter LeighAnne, she could barely speak. It was hard for her because they had had a falling out, and didn’t speak to each other for almost ten years. They had just recently reunited. She had her daughter and son next to her helping her through this emotional time. LeighAnne’s daughter is a singer and guitar player. So in between speakers she would serenade the crowd. I was very impressed with this young woman; she was only fifteen and had an amazing voice. She sang four songs? he one song that I knew was Dust in the Wind by Kansas, and she nailed it. Then it was time for my good friend Lee to get up and speak. He immediately broke down; he stated how happy he was that we all came. Lee stated that he tried to sit down and write a speech, but he couldn’t get passed a sentence or two before he lost it, which I believe worked out better for him. He spoke from the heart, told stories about his dad and how much he is going to miss. Finally it was time for the Chaplin to come back up and close out the ceremony.

    This was difficult for him since he didn’t really know Gary but he did the best he could with the information he had from Gary himself and speaking with his family. The Chaplain kept his voice somber and respectful as the memorial called for but also tried to keep it somewhat light so as not to cause more upset than necessary. You could tell that the Chaplain didn’t know Gary very well personally but that what experiences he had with Gary during their short acquaintance were meaningful to everyone, the family included.

    When the group broke to meet for the reception, held at another location, all the people gathered took turns to give the grieving family their love and support and a kind word or two. From the look of the remaining family that meant the world to them, knowing that there were so many people they could lean on in these hard times. Although it was said that Gary lived a simple life and that, like everyone, he had struggles, he also had accomplishments that his family could be proud of from this moment on and in times of such grief those accomplishments are what need to be focused on and celebrated.

    In short the Chaplain did a great job in keeping the somber crowd captivated in what he was saying by his tone and tempo during his speech. Although this isn’t the type of speech I would have wanted to critique it was also a good chance to reflect and all during the speech I couldn’t help but think about how the Chaplain kept his attitude, voice and appearance as it should be during this upsetting time.

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    The Funeral Experience. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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