This past week I’ve spent a lot of time with family. My brother’s wife died at 66. The family came from Maryland and Colorado, as well as within New York. As the family gathered and shared sweet memories of her life, I realized that I’ve neglected to envision how I wanted to be remembered when I die.
Most of us are busy with work, family and all of the daily chores that seem to grab our time leaving us with little room in our day to reflect on our lives. For me, this funeral stopped me in my tracks. This person was alive a week ago and is no longer with us. She told her silly jokes and hugged her grandchildren, and today she can no longer offer this love.
It was beautiful to experience how many people honored her life with stories about all of her personality, what she did, how she said it and how they loved her. Even the young grandchildren shared their memories of “MeMa.” She was there for her family.
It got me thinking, what do I want people to share at my funeral? When the children were young, the thought of dying created too much anxiety for me to explore. Today, my children are older, and though I’m not ready to leave this world, I’m more open to addressing the topic.
It’s not a depressing topic because it honors more how I want to live my life right at this moment. It questions what’s important to me and helps me carve out the time to review whether I’m living the life that I want. Right now, I don’t know when I will die, yet each day is vital to living a full life. Do I end the day with regrets or am I satisfied with how I lived the day?
How do I want others to remember me when I die? I want them to know that I loved them and thought they were important. I want to let my family and friends know how great they are and how much I appreciated them. I am grateful that they were part of my journey in life. I’ve learned a lot from them; they offered me comfort and buffered me from my aloneness.
I want to write down my experiences, my thoughts and share them. We are all so afraid of judgment that we failed to share our uniqueness. Each of us is here for a reason. Who we are adds to someone else’s life, and in turn, they are stronger for having us in their lives.
Can you imagine your funeral? If so, what do you want it to look like? If the funeral is too difficult to imagine, what about how you want to love the people in your life.
Take the time to be open and share who you are with family and friends as your presence will create memories.
Women’s Group Topics
Some may think this is a depressing topic to have at a group, yet, think about it. We are all going to die someday, and when we look at that fact, you can ask yourself how do you want to live your life today. There is a lot of discussion points around this topic and brainstorm to find the right one that resonates with your group.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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8 thoughts on “Life Lessons of a Funeral”
This is a subject that people really don’t like to talk about. Maybe if they would talk about it they would realize how important it is to be happy and enjoy every moment of every day.
My hubby is one that is so busy worrying about the future and retirement, he misses out on the day. I just keep hoping that he’ll get the hang of it before there are no more days.
I want people to remember me as loving life and enjoying every minute. That I paid attention to the little things.
Great article and thanks,
I’m just 19 and I’ve lost someone really close and that is why I’m now fine talking about the subject. But why think about it? Live in the moment. Cherish life as it comes. Should we not?
I commend you for living life in the moment. It’s so easy to worry, yet as soon as we start enjoying the moment, it’s great to live life.
It’s hard to live with a worrier but it sounds like you are taking care of yourself and keeping yourself focused on what is really important.
Thanks for sharing
I’m sorry for your lost…it takes time to rebound from grienving and start to share how you are doing.
I love your words “cherish life as it comes”…that is what I learned from the funeral.
Thanks for sharing.
What do I care what happens at my funeral? I’M DEAD. Bury me in the back yard for all I care. We worry too much about what happens when we die. I’m more concerned with what happens while I’m alive.
I do find that what people worry about usually takes care of itself. one tip that can be used is take your worry and write it down, put it in a can or box called the worry box. Every week look at your worries and see how many are really important any more.
Life is just to short to worry or think about past mistakes.
That’s a great idea…it helps make you aware of how much time is wasted on worrying.
Thanks for sharing.
often only the bad developments of our life force us to think about what we are doing right and what is not right
and it is bad