Last month I officiated the memorial of Ed, the father of my friend, Clarice. He and Clarice’s mom, Midge, had been married for more than fifty years. I know that this is a wedding blog and not a funeral blog BUT since the memorial I’ve become more sensitized to the vows, “in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
A wedding naturally looks to the Future, yet maybe one’s vows will only fully be understood at the end of one’s life. In prepping for the memorial, I rummaged around various quotes I’ve collected over time that are funeral appropriate (I’m not morbid – it’s just that I’ve done a fair number of funerals/memorials over the years). In looking over some of these quotes, I realize that they actually could help in the writing of vows. . . hmm. . . hope this doesn’t sound creepy!
Here are 6 quotes to help you reflect on just what it is you and your partner are vowing to each other:
1. You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.
How do you and your partner want to live? Have you talked about the particulars and the dreams? Have you figured out a strategy to make your wants and desires and dreams help you live – and not just exist?
2. Still – in a way – nobody sees a flower – really. It is so small –
we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
Have you and your partner founds ways to make time for and with each other? Do you “see” each other in those times or do you feel taken for granted?
3. What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for others?
How do you make life less difficult for your partner? How does your partner make life less difficult for you?
4. It costs so much to be fully human that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price. One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms open. One has to embrace the world like a lover. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to count doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.
Shoes Of The Fisherman
Are you and your partner committed to becoming “fully human”? How do you give each other the courage?
These next two quotes mention “God” – but even if you are not a believer, I think they can challenge you in your commitment to each other. . .
5. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything you gave me.”
How do you help your partner develop and us their talents? How does your partner help you develop and use your talents?
6. When we die and go to heaven, and we meet our Maker, our Maker is not going to say to us, “Why didn’t you become a messiah?” Why didn’t you discover the cure for such and such?” The only thing we’re going to be asked at that precious moment is, “why didn’t you become ‘you’?”
What does it mean for “you” to become “you”? For your partner to become him or her self? How can you help each other in that great, ultimate undertaking?