Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Question

How do you determine whether you will travel to a distant wedding or funeral?

Just yesterday a friend of ours died out in California. We consider him a friend, and I know Steve really loved him, though it would be fair to say that his son Craig and Craig's family are our really close friends.

I am torn. I want to be there to be of whatever comfort I can be and to be there for the service. They are like family to me and it seems like you should be there for family. On the other hand, I have a review on Monday, participation grade in my other class, and a test on Wednesday. I have a paper to turn in on Monday and the only way to get credit for it is to discuss it in class.

I am also scheduled to sing on Sunday. I don't have a problem with that, as they would be quite understanding, but the school stuff is more difficult.

We were going to have Steve go, but the only flights he can get back have him coming in after 9pm and he would have to leave at 2am for a 5 hour drive to Grand Junction to begin his next project. He is too new with this company to have much flexibility with them. Were it not for the funeral, he would likely drive to GJ on Sunday afternoon to be there to begin the project on Monday morning.

In some circumstances we would say that it matters not. If it were Craig or his immediate family, we would be there no matter what. It's difficult because we really are like family.

I was unable to go to either of my in-law's funerals because of financial considerations, and that certainly is an issue to consider now as well.

I had determined that I would not be able to go, but that if it were at all possible Steve should, but by the time he gets home from the airport, he would likely only have 3 hours sleep before making a 5 hour drive and working a full day. Not a good plan.

I know our friends understand, but it tears me up not to be there for people who have always been there for us. To have your friends hurting and be unable to be with them is sooo hard.

How do you decide? Maybe you don't agonize over these decisions, but I really believe that it is important to show up for the funerals. Weddings are optional (though they're important too) but funerals are manditory. People don't need you as much when they are celebrating, but they do need to know you care when they are hurting.

It seems like so many people will do whatever they can to avoid funerals, but Proverbs says, "Better to go to a house of mourning than a house of mirth because a wise man will take it to heart." I'm not sure that is an exact quote or if it is a Kim paraphrase, but the gist of it is correct.

Tell me your thoughts.

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