Helping front office teams grow better

What do you say at a funeral? #367

Eventually, everyone buries their parents. Some of us have already had to bear that burden; it's coming for the rest of us. Whether your parents die tragically before their time or at a ripe old age, it's a lonely, sobering journey.

These moments leave us wondering what to say. What do your friends want to hear from you at a wake for their parents? When you eulogize your parents, what story do you tell? Sure, what we say in these moments defines the memory of the dearly departed, but it says an awful lot more about us.

I will never forget the people who were there for me when my mom died; I will always remember looking into their faces as I gave her eulogy.

A few years ago, political writer Tim Alberta returned from DC to Michigan to bury his Dad. His Dad had been a pastor; Alberta was raised in the church where the funeral was. As you'd expect, the gathering before the funeral had a lot of good Evangelical Christians saying the right things and being there for the grieving family. As his new book tells the tale, though, more than a few parishioners thought this was the moment to offer corrective commentary on Alberta's political journalism.

Hearing Alberta tell this story really shocked me; his personal story broadens into an insightful narrative about where the American Religion is and where it's heading.

What to say at a wake? If fighting words about politics seems apropos, something is wrong with you; if you think your religion requires this kind of nonsense, then something is wrong with your religion.


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