Saying Goodbye

Denise doing a reading

Denise doing a reading

Today I went to a funeral. I wrote about Denise Butterworth in a post earlier in my blog. It was the day to finalise the fact that she has moved on to a different kind of life. As the people filled the crematorium, until they had to stand outside as well, I thought about the impact this lady has had on so many lives. Before our service there was another funeral taking place. One which was much less well attended. It’s tempting to compare the turn outs of the bereaved at events like this. But that doesn’t always signify how much impact a person has had. It’s when we have to say goodbye that we finally recognise their impact. I’m sure Denise was paying close attention to this afternoon. As a modest person she may well have been surprised by the number of people wanting to say goodbye to her in this life. Of the number of lives she had impacted in a positive way.

It made me think about my impact. One measure is certainly the number of people who attend your funeral. Another might be the grief being experienced by the people who have to say goodbye to you. Yet another might be you in the memories of all the people who have passed through your life but don’t know that you’ve actually gone. However we want to look at it we certainly make an impact on one another. But what kind of impact? That’s a really thorny question. People are like Marmite. You will like some and not be able to stand others. You might acquire a liking for someone if you persevere past your first reaction. Or you might decide that your original reaction was the correct one. I often think that we have become too conditioned to being ‘nice’ at the expense of allowing people to present themselves as they really are. We seem to have forgotten that people who challenge us are reminding us of our current limitations. When it comes to saying goodbye surely it’s the time to be honest about the person who is leaving?

Each person has something to offer to the world. Differences are what makes the world interesting, vibrant and exciting. As we explore the facets of ourselves and others we don’t need to be perfect. We need to be human. One of the best things about Denise was, that having seen a lot of the human race, she still had time for everyone. She didn’t necessarily feel that she had to like everyone but she tried her best to love everyone. She was a very spiritual lady who will live in our memories always. I’m not sure the same would be said of me. And that is the most interesting gift she gave us today. A chance to stop and think about how people might feel if they had to say goodbye to us. What kind of impact have we made? I’m taking my lead from Denise. I’d like to feel that I have had time for everyone and tried my best to love them as unconditionally as possible. I feel I might still have some way to go though! Please take a moment to consider your impact on others. Have you done the best you can to give yourself and them time and space, without judgement, to have a positive effect on each other? Have you been working on that issue of unconditional love? If goodbye had to happen would you grieve for them and would they grieve for you? Remember, you’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea but you can always try to ensure that your impact is a positive one.

Day 185 of my blogging challenge.

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