Two weeks ago we had the funeral service for a young man at the funeral home.  He died of a form of cancer and left behind not only a young son, but a little tension between his family and his friends.

When there’s tension, as the funeral directors, we usually end up hearing both sides of a story.

Unfortunately, the way we heard both sides of this story was through the public condolence section of our website. When we post an obituary on our website, we allow for respectful condolences to be posted in comment threads.  For the most part, people keep the comments gracious and courteous.

But that wasn’t the case with this young man’s comments.  They were riddled with hatred, directed towards his father, supposedly using some things he had said recently as evidence of him being a “bad father” who “didn’t love his son.”

Nasty stuff.  All of it.

We deleted those comments.  And, after speaking to the father, we decided to remove the obituary all together.  The father had the final say, as he’s the legal next of kin, and so his story won out.

It’s all immature.

What this type of fighting says is this: “I’m more concerned about being right than I am about remembering life in death.”  It says, “I’d rather win than remember the deceased.”

And there’s a time to deal with the tension, there’s a time to expose the wrongs, but now is not the time.  Now is the time to remember the deceased.  The loss.  The life lived.  Not pick fights.  And while funerals might help you, they’re not about you.


I’ve been reading a lot of online articles, blogs and editorials in this whole build up to the 10 year anniversary to September 11, 2001.

And I can’t help but draw a comparison to the immaturity I’ve seen displayed this past week at the funeral home to the immaturity I’ve seen in all this commentary.

People just can’t help but make this whole thing about their agenda.  They can’t help but politicize 9/11.  To take a back door shot at George Bush.  To write an “anti-war” blog post.  To talk about the misdirected vengeance of America post 9/11. Or, they talk about how glad they are we killed Osama.  How they hope we’ll get justice from the all guilty parties.

There’s a time to talk about these things, but it’s not now.

Now is a time to remember the lives lost. Now is the time to remember our momentary unity.  Now is the time to remember the prayer vigils, the flags we dusted off and hung on our porches.  Now is the time to remember the heroism of the New York Fire Companies and the utter outpouring of charity of the American people.  Now is the time to remember where you were at when you heard.  To remember what your feelings were.

Now is not the time to stand on our soapbox, but the time to sit in our chairs and share our experiences, and think about the life that flowed from death on that fateful day.


Let’s start here.

How did you first find out about the attacks?  The news?  A phone call?  A co-worker?

Who was the first person you intentionally talked to after you found out?  Did you call your spouse?  A good friend?

What was your first reaction?  Did you cry?  Were you angry?  Scared?

What is your clearest memory?