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Preparing to present a devotion in a craft group following a presentation by a funeral director, I decided to run with the flow, and get people engaged in the imminence of their death.

‘What do you want said at your funeral?’ I asked.

Nothing arouses thought for the transient nature of life more, for me personally, then the panpipes instrumental, Melbourne Animal Removal. Any time I hear this music I instantly think of my death. And such a thought is a boon.

It is not a morbid thought. It is the thought grounded in the reality that God could remove my breath and stop my heart within a second. These are such humbling realities. It places all our stresses and complexities and conflicts into context.

The question that arises for me from the thought of my death is,’Am I cherishing the fact that I am alive?’ Am I holding life lightly? Am I too buried in my work? – for my wife, my son, my daughters, my parents? What am I putting off that I shouldn’t be? Who is it that is really going to miss me when I’m 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 all 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 myself to peace, hope and joy?

What am I missing? 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 yet soon it will be over. As most of us know, with grandparents and parents having passed away, or people getting ready for this occasion, life seems long, but from some perspectives of irony it’s very short indeed.

It isn’t a morbid idea to plan for one’s funeral; this type of notion reminds us how precious life is, and it causes us to cherish the fact that we’re alive.

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