Attending funerals have a way of revealing the inner core of your desires and beliefs. Filing into the old country church in a traditional Southern fashion reminds me of why it is important to write down for our children how we would want to be remembered and celebrated. Approaching the casket brings up a rush of adrenaline to my hands, heart and head as to what I expect. It is never what I expect because the life I once knew has flown away and I am reminded that this broken vehicle is nothing without its owner. The emptiness reminds me of all the wonderful alive times I had with the warm being who once occupied the space.
When the service begins with all the wonderful gospel music my spirit is lifted towards those reflective times. While my mind and heart floats through those memories, tears flow from my eyes of how precious those moments were. Then my heart goes out to those ones near and dear to the precious one that once was here. My favorite part of the service is the Gospel music as well as the comments and reflective sharing. When people speak of how the departed one left an impression on their lives, this restores my soul as to the purpose of our lives.
What better reward is there than knowing you have left a mark on one's life in a positive way? Of course the sad thing is that realistically we as individuals very seldom tell others while they are living, what their life choices mean to us and how they have made a difference in our lives.
This is one of the reasons that I love the exercise I forwarded to my friends, colleagues, and family to sum up in one word that expresses how they view me. The receiver is to send the answer back to the sender and then forward the request onto their e-mail list. This gives you a lot of insight into how you are reflecting out to the world around you. This turned out to be a wonderful exercise for me coming back from a funeral because I was feeling very deep in my concerns of wanting to have a positive effect on all those that crossed my path.
Some of the words I received back were: intense, seeker, strong, delighter, live, courageous, sensitive, loving, friendly, giving, talkative, serious, deep, loyal, dedicated, carrying, cool, articulate, spiritual, and industrious. It was such an honor to receive these words to describe myself coming from others. It truly reaffirmed the wishes for my life. If I can continue to be true to myself hopefully when I leave this world there can be a huge celebration of music, food, reading and sharing that will be meaningful.
These thoughts have made me more aware that I want to practice now (not later) with others, in telling them the gratitude I have for their presence in my life. To all my family and friends I challenge them to remember the moment.