Friday, June 15, 2012

Thoughts From a Funeral

I like cemeteries.

I like to walk amidst the graves and calculate the ages at which the buried died. I like to read the epitaphs: poems, bible verses, and sometimes prose that family and friends write in honor of the dead. I like the quiet: the rustle of dry leaves underfoot, the sound of birds singing, the distant look of a mourner who has come to honor the memory of a relative long dead.

I cry. I always cry when I visit a cemetery, or attend a funeral.

Sometimes I cry quietly. At other times, I wail noisily. I leave sad. I always leave sad. But I leave more grateful for my life, for my friends and family, and for the opportunities I have.

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of Sanmi Awodogan, a young and promising man who lost his life in the Dana air crash. As always, I spent an hour walking round the graves - lost in thought. I will now share those thoughts with you:
There are different formulas for living a full life, for dying empty. Steve Jobs would stand in front of a mirror each morning and ask himself if he would follow through his to-do list if that day were the last day of his life. H. H. Morant wrote, "live everyday as if it were your last, and someday you'll be right". My favorite is the one by the Psalmist: teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

We should all learn to number our days: to consider the brevity of human life, to acknowledge its frailty, to consider the certainty and speediness of death... ...that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom: to use diligently the time in our hands; to make the most of the opportunities we have to learn, love, grow, and give; to understand that our present existence pales in comparison to the length of eternity...

Life is beautiful. Make the most of every opportunity.

No comments:

Post a Comment