My theory on weddings and funerals is this: For everyone one you attend, you are attending every one you have ever been to, and every one you are going to.
Does that make sense?
When I go to my grandpa’s funeral, I think about my grandma’s funeral, then I look forward (not pleasantly, forward in time) to my parents funerals, and God forbid, my wife’s funeral.
Weddings and funerals are events that force you to reflect on your life and the people in them.
I went to a funeral yesterday for a man from my church. I didn’t know him very well, but what I did know I really liked. Judging from the completely packed church, it seems like a lot of other people really liked him too.
They had great stories, funny stories, and sad stories. You really got an understanding of who he was and what type of friends and family he had. Despite being a Raiders fan, he seemed like a really wonderful guy that a lot of people are going to miss.
It got me thinking, just like all funerals do, what will my funeral be like?
Tell Me About Your Funeral
This may be a little dark, but I think it is extremely powerful, and may give you some much needed insight in to changes you need to start making today (and probably should have made yesterday).
Who will be there?
Will it be a packed or empty?
What will people say about you?
Who will miss you?
Who won’t miss you?
Who will be crying?
What will you wish you had done?
What will you wish you had said? To whom?
If you can take the time to seriously answer those questions, I think you will be able to navigate through your life in a much better way (assuming you aren’t already navigating in an ideal way, of course).
When I think about me, I think about my mistakes. How will they affect my funeral? What would it have been in different stages of my life? Will people miss me? What will they be saying?
What about your parents? Siblings? Spouses? Er. Spouse. Hopefully you are not married to more than one person. Could get awkward.
Biggest of all, what will my daughter be saying? How will she feel? Will I leave her in a position to thrive, or will she still be dependent on her daddy? Will I leave her with all the tools she will need? Will I have taught her enough lessons? Will she know how much I love her? Will she be able to look past my shortcomings? Will I have become the man and father to her that I strive to be? And will she recognize it?
Part of the reason I write these essays is for her. We can leave this place at any time. If I die tomorrow, or today for that matter, I will at least know that she has over 100 articles to read about things I would have taught her directly eventually. She will have videos and travel vlogs, thousands of photos, one book, an unfinished book, notes, lists of plans and ideas for everything I was going to do, but didn’t get the chance.
This is all for a reason.
This is all for her and my wife.
Not for my funeral, for my legacy. For everyone who believed in me when I was giving them every reason not to. If I am being honest, even though it is not directly for my funeral, a funeral is a pretty damn good representation of your legacy. It is basically a showcase to your impact on this world.
So tell me about your funeral? If you could have the perfect funeral, what would it look like? What would they be saying about you? What will you have done? How will you have impacted your family, friends, and everyone around you?
Now you can go out and make it happen.