Don’t Wait ‘Til Too Late

Week 28: #52 Ancestors – Reunion

By Eilene Lyon

Grandma Mabel's funeral
Guy Halse, center, with eight of his eleven children (L to R): Charlotte, Evelyn, Amy, Everett, Inez, Myron, Hazel, Alvin, 1946. (Courtesy of P. Neal)
Mabel Halse Family
Halse clan in 1946. (Courtesy of P. Neal)

Probably the most common type of reunion, apart from big holidays, is the funeral of a friend or family member. It’s the basic premise behind countless movies, too. Why do we wait?

It’s not like people are going to die at some convenient time for everyone to get together, right? Plus, the decedent misses out on all the fun.

The photos above were taken in Oregon in 1946 at the funeral for Mabel Pearl (Cutting) Halse. Her eleven children were all still living, but three did not make it to the funeral.

The Halse clan decided not to wait for Guy’s passing before gathering for a big family reunion. This time all of Guy and Mabel’s offspring made it, including spouses and children.

Doesn’t everyone look so much happier than in the other pictures?

Large Halse gathering 1952
Halse family reunion in 1952. (Courtesy of P. Neal)

What are YOU waiting for?

Just for fun: In the comments let’s see how many movies you can name where people reunite after the death of a friend/family member.




30 thoughts on “Don’t Wait ‘Til Too Late

Add yours

  1. Why do we wait? I guess we always think there will be more time… The first film that popped into my head was Four Weddings and a Funeral. Obvious, I suppose!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It does always seem that we all reunite over a funeral, doesn’t it? And it does seem like a much better idea to have a get together when everyone is still living! I’m happy to say I’m not waiting – I will be seeing some extended family in a few weeks in Ohio 🙂

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    1. Fabulous! Have a wonderful time. I had the pleasure of attending a reunion in June – so fun. I’d actually never met most of the people. But I need to organize some get togethers for other family groups. Unfortunately, we span the continent!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha. It wasn’t me I don’t think. My cousins husband is a creeper and was trying to get the little kids alone with himself all weekend. I think we’re happy with the distance. Not to brag or anything, but most of my family never talks to me any more. Haha. Not because if this, but because I’m an atheists now. It’s worth it to me, but I’m in their prayers…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Would it be fair to say they’ll join me in hell for judging my unbelief? They’ll think I made the cut, all excited “The prodigal son came home after all”, til they realize where we are.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an inspiring post. How wonderful to see a photo from a big reunion. I have the minutes from the Waldeck family reunions in my family but not the pictures to go with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In one of the old black and white photos of my dad’s family, there’s an empty chair in the middle where his great-grandfather would have sat. His great-grandmother is sitting in the chair next to it, all the clan gathered around. There are other family photos with him present, but this is the reunion they had after his death. It always struck me as oh-so-lovely and oh-so-sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We’ve had random reunions over the years but our most recent mini-one was in June in connection with my mom’s passing last fall. We celebrated her life. And she missed it.

    My ex-husband, who was dying of prostate cancer, realized friends from across the spectrum of his life would gather after he died. So he had a living wake. Got to be the center of the celebration. I thought it was brilliant.

    Re movies, I’ve got nothing to add. Great question, though!

    Liked by 2 people

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