I went to a funeral today.

I don't like funerals.  Even if you hardly know the person, they're so sad.  And when you do know the person, even worse.

Today, I did know the person well.  I've been her visiting teacher since I moved here almost 4 years ago.  And she was one of THE sweetest people I've ever met.

Usually, you don't expect to be taught something at funerals.  But today, I was taught a few things.

The first thing I was taught was to be proud of your accomplishments.  

This woman's family talked about how proud she was of everything she did, no matter how small.  It's a really, really good idea.

People can be so hard on themselves for all the stupid things they don't do right or don't do at all.  (Hello, mother's guilt.)

You SHOULD be proud when you accomplish something.  Anything.  Give yourself some props!  (And for some, getting a shower before noon is all you can expect.)

The second thing I learned was something my friend's husband said she used to say.  She didn't like to talk about people badly.  And she would say, "You don't know nothin' about it.  So shut up."

Good advice.

For ALL.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could go through life and deal with all your problems and hardships while knowing people were backing you up and supporting you behind your back instead of having people gossip about you and belittle your problems when you're not around?

Yes.  It would be.  As I have learned.

It's amazing how rough a time you could be going through and there are still people--even people who supposedly love and care about you--who speak badly of you.

Shame on them.

And while it instantly made me think about those who have hurt me by talking about me and things they don't have a clue about...it also got me thinking about the people I might have crapped on without them knowing.

It's about guile.

A decade ago, a friend of mine told me that she thought I was a person without guile.  But look down the road these ten years...and life...and trials...and stupid fools can turn a person sour.

I guess it takes constant reminding one-self that you are not as smart as you think you are.  You don't know what you think you know.  You've never walked in anyone else's shoes.  Who are you to look down on anyone...especially loved ones?

So next time you get the urge to open your big mouth, just remember my friend's words...


I'm very grateful for knowing this woman and what I learned from her even after she passed away.  I'll miss her.

She was one of the best ones.


  1. "You don't know nothin' about it. So shut up." Love it!

    One of my favorite quotes comes to us from the late Christopher Robin...“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”

  2. I think I'll put that on a plaque in my living room. Having been on both sides of that, I think it is good advice.

    I don't know nothin' about most things, so I'll just shut up. :D

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  4. funerals are so sad :( I am glad you got something out of it. I like how as we get older we come into our own, and think about things in a different way. I suppose all the thinking I do, I'll be a pretty good person when I'm about 82 :) I figure thats how long the lessons I learn everyday will take to sink in. But I'll keep trying everyday :)

  5. Thank you so much for sharing what you learned. I read your blog a few days ago and I have been thinking a lot about it. I have caught myself thinking or saying mean things and that thought of "you don't know nothin' about it so shut up" has stopped me. Thanks!


If you can't say something nice, say it behind my back.