Lynn Hummel: June — a big month for weddings, funerals
June is a big month for weddings, almost all scheduled, and a month for about 1/12 of the year’s funerals, held mostly when necessary. Both are occasions for get-togethers and family reunions.
It is good to remember that you will see many of the same people at weddings as you do at funerals and that weddings offer much greater opportunities for your expressions to be considered sincere and genuine than what you utter at funerals.
So the next time you circle around the room at a wedding reception, you might consider every person whose hand you shake, young or old, or every person you hug, young or old, to be the next person whose funeral you may be attending, or for that matter, who may be attending yours. In effect, that reception may be the Last Supper.
Given that way of looking at things, there ought to be less idle chatter and more meaningful, heartfelt dialogue at wedding receptions. For example, expressions I have used too often and have heard directed at me too often are “it was good seeing you again” or “good talking to you.” Even though they may be sincere statements, they are so shallow, they’re almost clichés.
This doesn’t mean the wedding receptions need to be long, drawn out emotional outpourings, but there ought to be just a few more statements that go deeper than skin deep. Here’s a list of a few you probably wouldn’t want to be your last words before your funeral or that of the friend you’re talking to:
Your hair looks great.
Good shoe shine.
You always drive such cool cars.
Who’s the hot babe you’re with?
I heard the groom is a jerk.
Will the Twins ever turn it around?
Will the wind ever stop blowing?
Where’s the bar, old friend?
The maid of honor has been eating too much sausage.
Instead, wouldn’t it be better if you said something real, like:
What a great friend you’ve always been.
You’re the best teacher I ever had.
All neighbors should be like you.
Your kids are a credit to you.
Your business is the heart of our downtown.
I’m proud to call you my brother.
Your toast to the groom was awesome – spot-on.
Your mom and I are so proud of you.
They should name a mountain after you.
You sang that like Celine Dion.
Your cousins are so much fun.
So the next time you go to a wedding reception, say one thing you’d like to have quoted, like – “Here’s what she said to me the day before she died. What a classy lady she was.”