2 Funerals and a Pianist. Do We Need a Community?

2 Funerals and a Pianist. Do We Need a Community? April 28, 2024

Old cemetery with a beautiful sunset
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The Gift of Your Six

“It takes 6-8 pallbearers to lift you up when you’re deceased. Imagine what you can accomplish if you had 6-8 people lifting you up while you are living.”


Where is Your Community?

Today I was both the singer and accompanist for a funeral of a member of my church. Funerals in general are not really the most pleasant of occasions to be sure. To add to that, last weekend I also attended a funeral of a family member that had recently passed away. She had lived a long life on this earth and touched many with her kindness of spirit. As I played the piano, the people came in for the service. I noticed that there were many familiar faces that came into the room. Some I had not seen for years. All to honor the life of this man who had touched them in some way. Much like the funeral that I attended last week, the people were there to because they shared a connection with their dearly departed loved one. 

Someone helping another person up a mountain
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Why Did These Dearly Departed Ones Have a Community?

Seeing all these faces brought a thought to mind. If you could imagine your life eulogy what would it be? Between the funeral last week and this week, both of these people were kind, and they were very solicitous of the needs of others. One was a veteran who served the country. The other a psychologist and author. Both had children who loved them very much. They served their community with love. As I continued to play the piano and people watch, I thought about the concept of community. Why did these dearly departed ones have their community? To make the world a better place, to join in empathy of life, to influence the world for good, and to help a part of them live on after they were gone. Basically, to belong to a higher calling than self. 

How Can I Become Part of a Community?

In the journey of Pensées (thoughts), I have really pondered the influence of social media. It really is “self” focused in many ways. When you go to share a story on certain platforms it immediately goes to “selfie” mode. Most people are not opposed to selfies, I am not so much. What is my point? How can we find our six or eight and get out of selfie mode? Being in a military family our boys say, “I got your six” or “Watch your six.” What does that mean? During World War I the phrase was coined by pilots. It meant that the pilot was watching the back of the other plane so that the enemy would not come behind them and shoot them down. I have heard, “check your six.” There are variations of the term. Basically, just as a soldier helps watch those around him from harm, we too can do just that. You can find a church or community giving group. Find people that are in need of lifting up. It does not have to be anything grand. Sometimes a kind word is all it takes. A prayer, a meal, a sweet, a coffee, even a smile.
A group holding hands together
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Find Your Six or Eight, or More.

As we continue on this journey of life, do you have a six or eight? Just think of the possibilities. If you show them the blessing of being a blessing; what could happen? Perhaps they may do so as well. I was watching a political show with my husband recently. The host was talking about how divided this nation is at the moment. He said that some want to establish two different countries. Others want a civil war! Can you believe that? The host said, “We cannot do that, we have got to walk across the playground and focus on what we do have in common and it has to start with us normal folks.” He is not wrong. Find your six or eight and be a blessing that this world so dearly needs. Tell them, “I got your six.” 

Look Around You, What Do You See?

My final reflection from the Celebration of Life Services was this: Helping others leaves a part of yourself to carry on when you are gone. Your gift to this world through service. Often times we become so wrapped up in the business of life that we forget to pause and take a breath. Look around you, what do you see? I wrote this little poem after playing at the service.

To go through life, blissfully unaware. 

To go through life, without a single care. 

No bills to pay, no problems of which to toil.

Would that not be absolutely wonderful?

To not have a care in the world. 

Unfortunately, this grand journey of life is filled with much.

Much good, much toil, and at times dismay.

There are times when smiles abound. 

There are even times when we can clown around. 

As the quote above states, do you have a six or eight?

People you can tell, “You are in my prayers.”

People you can say, “I hope you have a wonderful day.”

Is there anything that I can do, just for you?

Can I listen if you need to get things off your chest?
Can I make you a meal to ease your stress?

When we are gone, we will only need those six or eight for a few fleeting moments, to take us to our graves. 

In life find those people with kindred souls and spirits. 

Help them, pray for them, pass on the goodness of the human spirit. 

Let this create a domino effect. 

Tell someone about the six or eight. 

Make it a habit, love, create. 

Create a new mindset of helping others. 

Take the focus outward. 

Bless each other. 


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