In the previous writing I mentioned Deirdre Sullivan’s writing in the book, “This I Believe” from the NPR sponsored program of the same name. As a child she was taught to ‘always go to the funeral’…which translated into doing what she really didn’t want to do—but she did it anyway. A line her father always said to her, “You can’t come in without going out, kids. Always go to the funeral.”
I think going to funerals though is more than just doing the right thing—it is honoring the finding meaning area of your life—because you are honoring the place that ‘death’ has in your life—in all of our lives. Going to a funeral is acknowledging someone was here—and one day someone will come to your funeral and honor that you were here too.
Do you ever read the obituary column? I do most every day! It is a joy to read about people’s lives—total strangers on one level—but really so similar to me and everyone else on this planet at the same time. They all have families who love and care for them. They did good deeds, created art, left a variety of legacies, etc. Even when I read the obit of a very young baby—who maybe only lived 3 weeks or so—I’m privileged to see the love this child brought to his parents/family. As they describe their love in this short column, I say a silent prayer of thanks for allowing me to be reminded how much love circulates around us on this planet.
Finding meaning—no one here gets out alive! Whether you work your butt off or sit on your butt and watch life go by—you will die. Thus, living consciously with this awareness is a powerful way to approach building your Life Puzzle. You only have a short time on this planet—make the most of it as you put together the 16 core areas, 5 edges that create the SELF—and a joyous, vibrant life.
Ann, your comments mean a lot to me. Thinking about funerals makes me examine my own life. We have this terminal condition called birth. Funerals make me ask that snapshot closure question: did that person do everything s/he wanted to do? What else would that person have done if they'd had another month or two on earth? Would they, indeed, have spent so much time at the office? The process of asking myself these questions propels me along the choosing continuum in every respect.
Thanks...yes, I believe if we all stopped and asked these questions, we decide that its time for a major shift in our 0-5 reactive, unconscious ways of doing life!
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