Funeral homes have online guest books. You can leave comments about the deceased. It is a very impersonal way to connect to the family during one of their most personal and emotional experiences, the passing of a loved one.
Today I ran across an entry I made on one of these a while back. It was for someone I had known for a few years who had passed away. Someone I did not really like, nor dislike.The type of person I would not go out of my way to see. Like a distant cousin you don't know very well.
I found myself thinking, "If I would not say these nice things to the person while they are alive, why I am writing them today?"
I am certainly giving the impression to his family that this person was someone I liked much more than I did.
Am I a bad person for doing this? Perhaps this is something we all do, which is the worst excuse there is. There are several ways to look at this.
1) I want to give the false impression to others that I am nicer than I am. That I cared for this person more than i actually did.
2) In the passing I am reminded that in spite of our faults, we all have nice qualities. (how trite) I want the family to know that I remember nice things about their loved one.
3) God is telling me that I was wrong to not have reflected His love toward this person. I rightfully feel guilt. I want to make amends but only with a gesture that is tiny.