I heard a sad story a few weeks ago. Good friends of good friends had been trying to gather all their children and grandchildren to come together to celebrate their 50th anniversary in Florida. When I was little, having grandparents alive to celebrate their 50th was a big deal. Sadly, somewhere along the way, the celebration has lost its glitter and this couple’s family was too busy to take a weekend off and travel to Florida, even if all expenses were paid. By now you can predict the ending—they had no trouble making it here for the funeral.
This week I received a sad email notice—the only negative in living in seniorville where this news is posted for all to see, and in a large community, we get them all too frequently. A well-respected person had passed away. His funeral, the email informed me, would be on Skype. Intellectually, I can comprehend the many reasons this is good. Loved ones who can’t afford the plane fare or friends who are confined to their home can still be part of the final send off. Having funerals televised is usually just for well-known people and now the service is available for we common folks.
However, all I could think about was of the family who was too busy to celebrate a joyous milestone while their loved one was alive. If someone in that clan had thought of Skype, would they have instructed the widow to hire someone to Skype the funeral so they would only need to have taken an hour off from their hectic schedule?
Today one of my friends informed her daughter that she and her husband had prepaid the entire cost of their funeral and intended to be buried in Florida in lieu of being shipped back up North. Her daughter was stunned and said, “You mean we all have to pay to come down for a funeral?”
My friend thought fast and said, “No dear. We’ll use Skype.”
Sad, but it is probably the next socially excepted idea to help the overcommitted who have no time to smell the roses much less sing Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary to loved ones in person.