Preparing to present a dedication at a craft group after a presentation by a funeral director, I decided to run with the flow, and get people engaged in the imminence of the death.
‘What do you want said at your funeral?’ I asked.
Nothing arouses thought for the transient nature of life more, for me, then the panpipes instrumental, The Lonely Shepherd. Whenever I hear this music I immediately think of my passing. And such a thought is a blessing.
It is not a morbid thought. It’s the thought grounded in the truth that God could eliminate my breath and stop my heart inside a second. Or, cause me to be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. These are these humbling realities. It puts all our anxieties and complexities and conflicts into context.
The question which arises for me from the thought of my death is,’Am I cherishing the fact that I’m alive?’ Am I holding life lightly? Am I too buried in my job? What am I putting off that I shouldn’t be? Who is it that is really going to miss me when I am gone? And am I making time for these people today? Have I made all efforts to reconcile with those I’ve aggrieved? Am I making God known? Am I aware of should be? What should I do before I die?
Have I got any regrets about life? Can I do anything about them? Have I truly accepted the consequences of my actions? Is there joy in my life? What can I do to link to peace, hope and joy?
What am I overlooking? Instead of’What am I missing out on?’
This is the most pulsating truth of life: you and I’m alive, for such a time as this, and yet soon it’ll be over. As we all know, with parents and grandparents having passed away, or those getting ready for this occasion, life seems long, but from some perspectives of irony it is very short indeed.
It isn’t a morbid thought to plan for one’s funeral; such a thought reminds us how precious life is, and it causes us to cherish the fact that we’re alive.