Preparing to present a dedication in a craft group following a demonstration 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 elicits thought for the transient nature of life more, for me personally, then the panpipes instrumental, The Lonely Shepherd. Any time I hear this music I instantly think of my passing. And this type of thought is a blessing.
It is not a morbid thought. It is the notion grounded in the truth that God could remove my breath and stop my heart within a second. Or, cause me to be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. These are such 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 buried in my work? Am I making enough time for my relationships? 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 all these people now? Have these people seen the best of me yet? 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 connect myself to peace, hope and joy?
What am I overlooking? Instead of’What am I missing out on?’
This is the most pulsating fact of life: you and I’m alive, for such a time as this, and soon it will be over. As we all know, with parents and grandparents having passed away, or those getting ready for such an event, life seems long, but from some perspectives of irony it’s very short indeed.
It isn’t a morbid thought to plan for one’s funeral; this type of thought reminds us how precious life is, and it causes us to cherish the fact that we are alive.