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Three Dave's No Waiting

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Putting the fun back in funeral

Three Things Thursday time. Here is what I have for you today.

1. During the wake and funeral for my brother I was constantly remembering one of his favorite episodes from Night Court, one of his favorite television programs. The episode featured an undertaker with a warped sense of humor. His goal was to put "fun" back in funeral. Among his tricks of the trade he would put bumper stickers on the casket that said things like "My other car's a hearse" or "I'd rather be breathing."

2. I gave the eulogy Tuesday at Keith's funeral. I'd like to share to the best of my memory my remarks, and yes I did call the Catholic Priest "Pastor Ed". Keith's service was at the Catholic Church my family attended when we were growing up. My parents still go there and my Dad drives the bus for the churches elementary school. The entire student body came to the funeral.

Here is what I said ...

"On behalf of Lynn and her children, my parents and my brothers and sisters I'd like to welcome you to the Illinois regional Jeopardy auditions. (wait for laughter to subside) Keith and the rest of our family grew up at this church. The first funeral I recall attending was here. It was for the father of a school and scouting friend of Chris and mine. After the service, my dad approached the widow and said "38 is much too young to go."

Now, I was about 10, and like maybe many of you, (motioning to the students) 38 did not seem young to me at all. But let me tell you, 38 is much too young (Keith was 38 when he died). When you love somebody whenever they die it is always much too soon.

Many people who knew Keith only by his diagnosis (bi-polar disorder) might think that there were two Keith's. That was so untrue. There was only one Keith. He had a greater capacity for love and enjoyment than anyone I ever knew. He loved his family. He loved playing games and he loved jokes. He was active in his children's schooling and scouting. (I meant to talk briefly how he loved chess and how he was helping my son Charlie with his chess class on their last visit together a week before he died. I didn't get to that part. I also wanted to talk specifically about how much he loved his wife Lynn, missed that as well). He was logical to the point of being obnoxious or perhaps for the purpose of being obnoxious. He'd be at a a party at my house and I'd say "Keith there's Pepsi in the cooler if you want one." And he'd say "Actually, there's Pepsi in the cooler even if I don't want one."

Keith's passing has left many of us with the same question. A question my daughter Emma has asked many times this week. "Daddy, why did Uncle Keith have to die?" I don't think it was any coincidence that Keith died during Holy Week. During the same time that many of you were celebrating the stations of the cross and asking "Why did Jesus have to die?" Pastor Ed you are right Keith is not asking those questions now. Keith understood the hope of the resurrection and He is in heaven right now with his Savior.

During the past 3 years during the course of his illness, (Keith had heart and kidney ailments) many people have stopped me and asked me "How is Keith? How is your brother doing?" Keith is doing great. He is doing better than we can even imagine.

3. Yesterday the day after the funeral, I decided to seek comfort in comfort food. It is one of those foods that I enjoy making as much as I do eating. There is a food product at the Mexican grocery store near my house called duros or wheels. They are like a meatless pork rind. For $1.50 you can get a large bag of them prepared. But for about $2.00 you can buy a bag of them uncooked that makes 8-10 times the large bag. Not quite enough for Frugal Friday, but still fun on a budget. All of my children like to eat or prepare the treat.

Here is what they look like uncooked . . .

Here is what one looks like after being cooked in hot oil . . . You will notice it's in the same bowl.

So there's my 3 things combining fun, funeral and food. To see more three things this Thursday go to Psalm 104:24

Next Time: 4 Weddings and a Funeral.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your brother.....I think God blesses us with the gift of laughter for going through the many trials in our life.

    Not sure I would be digging the pork rind thing.....I think I have to get past the name first before it gets past my lips.

    have a wonderful week.......


  2. It's true, we should say the things to people when they're alive. I'm so glad you were able to talk to all those people (there were a LOT of people there) about Keith. I greatly admire you.

  3. no never tell people how u feel when there aleve


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