It’s a good day for a funeral, I thought to myself as I observed the rain on the day my grandfather passed away. Then I thought Is a rainy day really a good day for a funeral?
I initially thought gloomy rain was good because it matched my mood. Funerals are sad, so the weather should project that sadness. But there is a difference between saying “It’s a good day for a funeral” and “It’s an appropriate day for a funeral.”
The rain was appropriate, fitting because I was sad. But it wasn’t good.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t want it to be raining, and I didn’t want it to rain on the day of my grandfather’s funeral. Even though the rain fit my mood and my sadness, I wanted G-Dad to have sun.
Still, is a beautiful, sunny day a good day for a funeral? Sunshine does have a way of cheering people up. It’s a reminder of the good times in a person’s life. Even though you find yourself standing by a gravesite–the body of a person you love about to be lowered into the ground, never for you to see again–the sunshine somehow makes it better. It gives you hope that life will go on despite your loss.
Had it been raining, it would have been horrible.
Sunshine may make it a better day for a funeral, but I still don’t think a sunny day is a good day for a funeral. A sunny day is for children to run around in a park, not watch their loved one be buried. If we’re being honest, there’s no such thing as “a good day for a funeral.”
But funerals happen–even on sunny days–because death happens every day. Sometimes we have to stop and acknowledge that, even when the weather is perfect, life is not. And if we don’t stop, life will force us to:
“Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me…” –Emily Dickinson
Just like sunny days, life can’t last forever. Sometimes we have to go through periods of rain in our lives. But if the sun shone all the time, and if the rain never fell, the flowers would never grow, and that would make the world a pretty dull place to live in.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.” –Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for sunny days and a time for rainy days, and though sunny days are always preferable, life would not be what it is without the rain.