A Wedding and a Funeral
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio


A wedding and a funeral couldn’t be more different. The first is a beginning and the second is an ending. The last two weeks have given me a chance to think about these two events and I’ve found some fairly important similarities that go beyond the fact that they both occur in a church.


I had to work while Kinzie Hibbert and Travis Easley were married however I did attend the wedding dance. These two young people had decided to give up some of their own independence for the promise that really is love. The promise to support each other, to keep each other’s secrets and to be faithful in their new life together. I and Lisa were both a little nervous as we thought about how soon we would be married. A married couple begins a new life that might be a little scary but infinitely satisfying. I was happy for both of them in the same way I was happy for any couple joining together in a new life.


About a week later I learned about the death of Richard Bruggeman. I am a friend of his sons’ and attended the funeral in Red Lake Falls. I watched the service and felt sad for my friends and even sad for myself. I considered that one day I would also die. It seemed unfair that a life well-lived should end and leave only memories and sad family members. At that moment I felt a jolt inside of me. I was ashamed of myself for thinking of life in such a small way. Life, as sweet as it is, truly begins with eternal life. It’s a good thing that Pastor Gabrielson had given me such a good base of spiritual education because this was a moment when I truly needed it. A funeral, much like a wedding, is a celebration of a life beginning-two lives becoming one or the start of eternal life-both were an occasion for celebration. I’d like to say this made me feel better but it didn’t. I was still watching my friends suffer at the loss of their father and it hurt me. I did feel relief at the notion that as much as I crave waking up each morning, one day I won’t and it will still be okay-actually much more than okay. It would be a new life that was a little scary but infinitely satisfying.


I had the inspiration for this story because I will often say "funeral" when I really mean "wedding" and vice-versa. This is not a Freudian slip revealing some unknown inability of mine to commit to a relationship. Maybe I finally figured out why I get these two seemingly different occasions confused so often. A wedding a funeral are two signposts that say the same thing-life starts here.