Would You Be There for the Funeral?

Would you be there for the funeral? It’s a morbid question, but it’s become a litmus test of sorts for me.

This weekend, I went to the Bar Mitzvah of the son of one of my dearest friends. She lives in Boston. The trip cost handsome fiancée and I about $2,500. I don’t mean to be uncouth in mentioning the price tag, but it was a lot of money. (Plane, hotel, meals, rental car, gift—you get the idea.)

Months ago, when the invitation arrived, we debated going. I wanted to, of course, but we had to consider the expense. Handsome fiancée didn’t waver. He asked me this: “Would you go to his funeral?”

“Of course!” I responded.

“Done, we’re going,” he said. “We have to go to the simchas too.” (Simcha is a Hebrew and Yiddish noun meaning “celebration.”)

He was right. We had an incredible time. I spent time with my old friend and watched one of the greatest accomplishments of her son’s life. She was grateful to have us there, and I can’t believe I ever considered not going. Handsome fiancée does have a way of bottom-lining things like this. I sometimes forget to celebrate the happy occasions. Often, family reunions only happen at funerals. I know I should be saving more for college, or an emergency fund, or putting more in my 401K, but life should also be about the simchas.

I don’t regret one dollar spent on this Bar Mitzvah weekend. Despite the morbid question, “Would you be there for the funeral?” it did offer perspective on what I want my life to be about… The simchas.

This week I wish you many simchas—and lots of frequent flier miles to help you get there!