Sunday, March 1, 2020
Friday I received a card in the mail, I was trying to think if there was a special occasion coming up. When I opened the envelope it was a thank you card from the family of the older neighbour who had passed away.
My dad did the same thing for years, I have been helping out for the last ten years. The truth is I'm not doing it for the church, it means nothing to me. Priests come and go, bishops come and go but the people are my friends, family and neighbors. Sometimes neighbors are more like family than actual family in small towns. The elderly people I feel have earned the right to have a beautiful send off and I do it for them. It's not because I think they are watching me and are pleased, I'm actually an atheist for the most part, so I believe they are gone, really gone and can't possibly know that I helped at all. Without saying then, I also don't believe angels are taking note of my good deed that day. Also I feel the family shouldn't have to worry about problems, they should be just concentrating on comforting each other. People did these same good deeds for us when dad died.
Besides just the simple things like opening church doors etc during the procession, the grave site needs to be prepared and carefully marked out. What a disaster if something was out of line and some sort of mix up happened. Not terribly difficult, just a little attention to detail; however nobody wants to do it.
The sad truth is there are no younger people helping out, they don't want to be bothered. I felt compelled to step in. However once the older people who contributed greatly when they were young are all gone, I will be finished. I'm not the only one who quietly gives up their free time to help, there are a few of us and sadly the key word is few.
As I was saying, I don't do it for any other reason than it just feels like the right thing to do. My way of saying goodbye to people who gave me cookies, pretended to steal my nose, smiled broadly when they saw me coming, pony rides, car rides, funny stories and my whole life were always around, until one day they weren't. I don't do it for praise but the touching Thank You meant a lot to me. It was totally unexpected; however not trying to sound like I'm looking for a compliment, I feel that is completely wrong, I just realized that over the last ten years of helping out families, this is the first time anyone has ever sent a note to say "thank you".