Not all funerals are sad.

Sometimes a death in the family brings with it long over-due forgiveness and, as a result, closure. It offers peace to those left behind. Most importantly, it has the power to reunite those who have loved and supported one another through a shared history. Together we honour the past, but our lives do move on a little lighter.

The recent passing of the Carpenter’s father was not unexpected and thankfully, it was a peaceful exit. A tired body finally gave way to a final rest. But the weight of that loss had the potential to open old wounds, stir up hard feelings and resurge resentments long since calmed. And I confess, I was worried how my spouse would handle the news.

Not all childhoods are happy. His was complicated. Yet I believe his early struggles made him the incredible man and amazing father he is today. He chose a different path. Out of darkness comes light.

For all my jokes about his sexy tool belt and his inability to finish a project, the truth is, I can’t think of a person I respect more than my Carpenter.

That is the truth.

Everything this man has, he earned the hard way. He takes nothing for granted and expects no favours. Resiliency is a trade he learned young, and his work ethic is a survival skill. He trusts few but is absolutely trustworthy. He can take it or leave it, and not apologize either way. He teaches me every day that life is about choices: what you’ll hold on to, what you’ll walk away from. The best way not to repeat your past is not to live in the past. He doesn’t look backward.

He is proof that who you are is not where you came from; it’s where you’re going. So keep moving forward.

Don’t misunderstand me; the Carpenter loves his family, in all their dysfunctional glory.

Though life has scattered his siblings apart, when they gathered to say goodbye to the man that has forever linked them together, I was reminded what good souls each of them are, how they all love their own children, and have worked very hard to build successful lives of their own.

Resiliency is in their genes.

This is a family I chose to be a part of, and no matter what skeletons rattle in the closet, I have never regretted it. When we gathered in the cemetery to bow our heads in prayer, I know each one of us were sincere in our gratitude for the life of the man that connected us. We stood united not in what was, but in what will be.

Not all funerals are sad, because love endures life and loss. It just does.

That’s what family teaches us.