The Importance of the Things We Do

By Dave Hanks

“How utterly DEVOID OF SIGNIFICANCE, beyond a man’s circle, is all that he achieves and all he aims at.” (Hawthorne)

I would wish no person ill and hope only the best for them. However, when I attend a funeral, the above statement comes rushing home to me. Unless the deceased is a close family member or a very close personal friend, the passing of the person really doesn’t cause too much concern to anyone. Another facet of one’s existence comes forth when engaging someone in conversation. They do not want more than a brief, quick sketch of your activities (which they soon forget); but if you will listen to theirs and only make an occasional supportive comment, they will love talking with you.

When one dies, everyone else continues on. The “pace” does not slacken. It’s like having your finger in a glass of water. While it’s there, it creates space. Withdraw it and the water immediately re-forms. One’s life sketch can outline many accomplishments, but those are quickly a thing of the past and forgotten. The loss of a spouse or child or another who is close can cause deep concern. But I feel sad to realize that beyond that tight knit circle, legitimate concern is not what its “cracked-up” to be.

After attending many funerals, I don’t think I would want one – but I don’t suppose I’ll have much to say about it when the time comes.