Pastor Bob Tousey
No Religious References
This morning we gather to celebrate the life of ______. Each of you are honored to have had ________ in your life. For some of you _____ has been part of your life since your birth while others met _______ along the way. No matter when ______ became part of your life he touched each of you in a special way and this past _______ when ________ left this world each of you were left with an emptiness in your hearts. While we will acknowledge that ________ has been called from this life most of our service will be remembering that _________ lived and how well he lived.
I can tell you from my own experience that while even years from now a tear will come to your eye when you think of ________ that tears will become less frequent because that emptiness that you feel in your hearts right now will be replaced with the wonderful memories you have of your time with _________ and you will be thankful that he has been part of your life.
Early in my Pastoral career I served as a Chaplain for a large county wide Fire Department and one of my sad duties was to notify families of the sudden loss of a loved one. The visits often went the same way. At first, the news was greeted with disbelief, there was anger, sadness and tears but before long I would smell coffee brewing and someone would say “Chaplain, can you stay a while?” Pretty soon as we waited for extended family and friends to arrive the photo albums would come out and stories would be shared. At the point, that there was both crying and laughter I knew the healing had begun. Both are very healthy and normal emotions. I encourage each of you to exercise both in abundance. In time the emptiness in your hearts will be replaced with the happy and loving memories that you have of ______ and you will be thankful for the time that you had with him. You will focus on the fact that _______ lived and not that _________ died.
As we begin this service, I would like to share with you a poem written by Linda Ellis entitled “The Dash”.
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
Insert memories of the deceased
Recommend either a family member or friend deliver a eulogy
If not, recommend opening it up if so then use the following words.
It is important for us to remember not to bury ___________’s memories with him today but to share them with future generations.
Then close with:
In the hours, days, weeks and months to come there will be some difficult times. These are times that you need to be there for one another. You need to be a shoulder for someone to cry on and lend your ear to hear a story someone needs to tell. You also need to be able to ask for someone else’s shoulder and ear when you need it.
I would now like to share a short poem entitled “Afterglow” the words might be words that _________ would speak himself if he could.
I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing
times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who
grieve, to dry before the sun,
And think of happy memories
when the day is done.
I would now like to allow a minute for private meditation or prayer.
This now concludes our services at the funeral home and the funeral director will be in shortly to provide you with instructions for our trip to the cemetery. May you be blessed and kept safe. I will see you at the cemetery