Upon your death; how will you be remembered? Thoughts of one’s future death are often a thing to be avoided. Such thoughts are typically quickly followed by emotions of sadness and/or fear. Then, the ever-common questions of insecurity……what happens when I die? Is this truly it?
I recently attended a funeral of a good man who arguably was taken at too young of an age and while in the prime of his life. The church was filled almost to capacity with friends, family members, and associates whose lives have been touched by this fallen man. People’s eyes welled up in sadness while simultaneously smiling in joy as they listened to story after story of this man’s life. Although his life may have been far too short, a number of people’s lives he influenced was remarkable.
As I transitioned between the frequent standing and a number of traditional Catholic Funeral Mass, I found myself in moments of self-reflection. If this were my funeral, how would I be remembered? Would I have had any positive influence or touched any one’s life?
Then, the priest inserted the question; what happens when we die…… id this truly it? The priest then answered his own question with a spiritual expression/description of an After/Eternal Life. An After Life is a difficult concept for many to grasp. But, if there is truly an After Life then a funeral ceremony would not be a means of saying goodbye, but more a celebration of a Mortal Life transitioning to an After Life.
The analogy of birth can potentially be used when explaining death (and After Life). A baby is living a very happy and productive life in the mother’s womb. The baby is happy, warm, content, and enjoying the sounds of familiar voices and noises. The baby has no desire to ever leave its comfortable and content life. But, for the baby to enjoy an even more fruitful and beneficial existence, it must be born anew. This means the life in the womb must die to force the baby’s new life in the world. The choice to leave the life in the womb was not made by the baby, but the choice was made for the baby so that it might live an even better life. Likewise, it can be believed that this life (just like the life of the womb) might end so that we might live an even better and Eternal (After) life.
Therefore, the funeral service was not to say goodbye forever, but more to say “goodbye for now; I look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.” It was also a humble reminder of how life should be lived and the positive impact that one life can have on so many others.
So again……..how will you be remembered?
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.