How do you find out the character of a man you barely knew but who has died? Today I attended a funeral with my wife. The man, Frank Stringham, and his family played an important role in my wife's life. Today he was honored by friends and family.
If you're not familiar with Mormon funerals, they're kind of like other things...Mormon weddings, Mormon baptisms--they're a little different. Mormons not only believe in an afterlife, they base their philosophy on the fact that not only will they be reunited with their loved ones, they'll get to spend eternity with them if they've done all they could in this life. So, when we gather to say "goodbye" to someone, we believe it's a temporary situation.
This, of course, doesn't mean the pain of loss isn't any less real, but just knowing this helps make a Mormon funeral not as depressing as it could be.
The funeral was nice. Family spoke and musical numbers rounded out the program. We saw friends and reunited with loved ones. I'm glad I could attend even though I didn't know the man as well as many. I was able to get to know someone who loved his family and was loved by them. Just by attending, the service made me want to be a better husband and father because of the man Frank Stringham was.
How do you find out the character of a man you barely knew but who has died? Attending his funeral and hearing the testimonies of him is a pretty darn good way. Rest well, Brother Stringham...rest well.