It was the most unique & beautiful funeral I've ever seen!
The funeral for my cousin's best friend was this past Saturday. Years ago he had apparently told my cousin and a couple other friends that he didn't want his funeral to be a somber occasion but rather a celebration of life. He also wanted to refrain from the traditional church hymns and instead have Christian rock songs played. He also requested that everyone there sing along with the music, whether they knew the words or tune at all. One of his friends put words to all the music that was played and it was displayed on a screen for everyone in the church to sing along with.
My cousin and one other guy did their friend's eulogy together, only it was fun! They just basically sat down on a couple of stools and told stories of the last 20 years of their lives together; how they met at church, began the youth ministry there, all the good times they'd been through as well as a few of the bad with their friend's health problems.
Lastly, their friend wanted them to "be witness" to Christ and asked them to explain what he already knew before he died. My cousin and the other friend ended the eulogy by praying for everyone in the church who did not know Christ yet and wished to come to him, prayed for everyone who already knew Christ but have had trouble keeping with it, as well as praying for those who know Christ to continue to trudge on ahead in life.
The whole service was beautiful. All within a 30-minute span or so I smiled, cried, laughed, cried some more, and left there with an overall great feeling. On our way home from the funeral, Ken looked at me and said "that's the way I want to go out." I agree. I'd like things to be a celebration of my life.
The weather was beginning to turn pretty hairy by the time the funeral was over and my cousin had intended on going back home (about 4 hours) after the funeral before the weather got really bad. So about 10 o'clock that night I called his Mom to see if he had made it home okay but it turned out that he decided to stay here in town and wait until the bad stuff passed. We talked on the phone for a while and his Mom said that my cousin and other good friend were downstairs playing Risk (the original board game version) at a table with an empty chair set up for their friend who had passed away. The three of them played Risk A LOT, as well as Axis & Allies. I got tears in my eyes when I heard that. How sweet!