Years ago, I read the autobiography of former Mayor of New York Rudy Guiliani, the guy who after September 11, 2001, was nearly canonised by New York City. The guy was a legend during that time and the city and indeed the country loved him for his leadership and his resolve.
I can’t recall much of his autobiography as I read it over a decade ago, but there is one line, one quote which stays with me and which I often think of. ‘Weddings are optional but funerals are mandatory’. Plain and simple. You see, you don’t always have to go to the wedding, but hell if someone dies, then attend the funeral. It may be uncomfortable for you and out of your comfort zone. Funeral will do that. They are sad and they are a reminder of our own mortality. But here’s the kicker. It’s not about you. It’s about someone else. Whether the relationship is with the person who has died, or it is with a close relative or friend of the person who has passed just dress up and show up. Believe me, you won’t regret it.
Don’t take the better offer, the prior engagement, the easy road. Funerals are hard and attending them often terrifying and devastating. But as Guiliani went on to say: "Be there for your people, and they'll be there for you."