Sunday, August 7, 2011

The funeral

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a dear friend and colleague. The room was full of people that came to pay their respects.  The pews were full and I was standing in the back.  As I listened to the eulogies of this amazing woman, it was clear that she was loved dearly.   She was, in fact, quite a dynamo, and it was no surprise to me that she was loved by so many people. 

So, why is it that when someone dies, you always stop to reflect on your own life for a minute.  Shouldn’t we be doing that every day?  But, we don’t… most of the time, we’re so busy making a living that we forget to make a life.  So,  as I looked around the room, I started thinking… (oh no… trouble, with a capital T). The first thought I had was “Begin with the end in mind ”  from the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  It’s the line of thinking that everything you do should be because you have a specific result in mind.    I was wondering…Would people be saying nice things about me?  Have I contributed to society enough that there would be people actually wanting to share a funny story about me?  There are plenty of people that could tell some stories, but would they want to?   

Then I wondered… “would I draw a crowd?”   Now how funny is that?  What would I care?  I would be dead.  Why would I even think about that?    So, I sat there and weighed the options, and I decided that I didn’t want to draw a crowd… I wanted to live long enough that there weren’t very many people left to come.  Ha!  The thought train took a selfish turn… imagine that.   But, I went right back on track when I realized that it would mean that I would lose a lot of wonderful people along the way, and I didn’t want to do that either.  Dang!   

Then I wondered… if there were actually people there, would they be celebrating my life or celebrating my death.  I certainly didn’t want anyone dancing and singing “Ding Dong, the witch is dead!”     But I wouldn’t mind anyone having a 5 second dance party or doing the happy dance to celebrate my life.  

So… as I left the funeral, I looked up and thanked my friend for bringing all these crazy thoughts to mind.  You see, she lived a life worth living. She was full of joy even to the end.  And, once again, she reminded me that I need to live a life that makes a difference to others too.   So, I made a promise to go out the door and do my best to be a blessing to others.

 Life is way too short to sit on the side lines. We need to handle people with love and patience.  We need to dance and make others dance with us!  Sing off  key!  Laugh!  LIVE!    Don't wonder if people will be sad when you go.  Just make them happy while you're here.   You see… we really have no control over how and when we go.  But, we CAN control how we stay.  J  

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