Wednesday, 16 May 2012

What They Will Never Say at Your Funeral

I don't know, but you may be reading this at work. The lull in traffic would suggest that blogs are read more during employed hours than during private home time. Anyway, you will undoubtedly be reading these words mid-toil at some coal face or other, be that work, home or play.

Apart from Funeral Directors and crematorium chapel attendants, I can safely say that I have been to more funerals than you. Bold, I know - but unless you are the modern day Crippen with a heart for full closure, I have been to many many more funerals that you, old friend. Which means I can state in some certainty that I know what I am talking about on the subject of what is said in funerals. So there. 

At funerals, many words are said. Most are spoken 'off script' these days and reflect the mood of the gathering in regards to your past presence. Someone once said : "Live so that people don't have to lie about you at your funeral", or words to that effect, and I am the geezer with the rictus grin who will be there to witness that truth or lie. 

Seriously though, we bust our buns most of our lives to excel and improve. We are acquisitive, desirous of status, pursuers of success, image conscious, try hard to be the best or demonstrate ability, and regard failure to be an offense in these spheres. I am the same, don't worry. And then we die! Drop down dead, stone cold stiff. Then the words start. 

Without exception, in the millions of funerals I have lead or attended, the subject of bank balance has not arisen. In those services, the rank or grade attained in employment was never raised verbally. Perhaps if the deceased were gifted, that may have been mentioned. The number of bedrooms in their former home was never uttered, nor was the cubic capacity of the former big car. Musculature or the smoothness of the skin upon their face - never mentioned. The shaping of the eyebrows or the neat little flick of the fringe - nope. None of these things are ever mentioned at a funeral, and won't be at yours.

What will be discussed is the quality of your person. Your good works or faithfulness will reach the surface. Your smile, your care, you love and your example - they will be the meat on this particular plate. Whether you did every thing you could to raise your family properly and with out the interference of career laddering; whether you gave without counting the cost; whether you were gracious, straightforward, humorous, genuine, gentle, witty, intelligent or brave; what you leave in your wake by way of example - all of these things will be said at your funeral. 

When it comes down to the summary of your life, the material stuff will be forgotten. The emotional and spiritual will finds its way out every time. The ones missed at funerals most are the ones who knew how to exhibit love in abundance.

Just a thought for a middle of a working week!


  1. I cannot put into words why but reading that this beautiful sunny morning has made me very happy, thank you

  2. Mrs. Doorkeeper16 May 2012 at 16:08

    I did once go to the funeral of an anaesthetist who had, apparently, invented some cool gizmo for making the working lives of other anaesthetists more efficient/happy/fulfilled/easy (delete as appropriate). The chap delivering the eulogy, evidently also an anaesthetist, described this gizmo, its invention, its inner workings and the effect it had had on the lives of other anaesthetists in lengthy and turgid detail. I don't know if he touched on the personal qualities of the departed - he may have but we had mostly lost our own will to live by then.

    Mercifully, that's an exception!



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