Funerals and Book Clubs
Created By: Kristin Neperud Merz
Funerals are known for moving us to tears, but not as often for making you want to join a book club. Earlier this year I attended the funeral of my now aunt-in-law, Suzy. I was lucky enough to have met her a couple of times before her passing, and she has managed to remain in my thoughts in the most pleasant of ways ever since.
Her funeral was as festive as a funeral can be. At her request, everyone wore Hawaiian shirts and leis. While battling cancer for over 20 years, she had had time to plan what she wanted. Her thoughtful planning made it one of the most beautiful funerals I have ever attended.
Aside from the pastor and one dear friend, she had requested the members of her book club also speak. These five ladies spoke of all that they had shared over the years and what they remembered about their friend. How their monthly get-togethers would sometimes run astray, and how Suzy would get them all back on track. All of the activities participated in together outside of their club. How despite all of the changes in their worlds, they were there to take one another's hands and support each other through it all. We listened as they talked about the woman that they had come to love so much, and we watched as one by one they lost their fight with their tears. (Suzy had not wanted crying.)
I'm lucky enough to have great friends who I adore. Too often, though, all I know of them now is through our irregular catch up calls and emails cramming the Cliff Notes version of our lives into a quick briefing and hello.
I was jealous of these ladies.
Maybe they were always close, but I am guessing it was through their monthly book discussion that they became even closer. Maybe they were able to learn more about each other by hearing each other's thoughts on much more then just what was going on in their lives. Or maybe hearing their thoughts on the books gave everyone a clearer picture of what was really going on in each of their lives. Maybe being able to take an uncensored look at a book character's life and struggles allowed them to get to a more honest level. After all, you may not be able to tell your friend that you think their new boyfriend is a tool, but you will say that the character is an idiot for dating someone exactly like him! Then you can casually continue to discuss how brilliantly the author wrote the character with both flaws and heroism.
Whatever it was that created their intimacy, it showed. And inspired. I can't help but think that these ladies had such a blessing with their club.
I hope we all enjoy, learn and grow with one another here. If we can help create and foster anything close to what I saw with Suzy's book cub... there are no words for how wonderful that would be.
P.S. "Cheers" to Barbie for having the vision to dream up this site and the courage to pursue it! Your vision will be a boon for many. It has been my honor to have helped in my small way.blog comments powered by