I went to a family funeral yesterday (Thursday). It was a Christian funeral for a beautiful young eighteen-year-old girl on my wife's side of the family, who passed away last week after a long battle with a rare blood disease. As I sat there listening to the moving poems and tributes, I got to thinking.... I wonder what people will say about me at my funeral?
Have I left as much of an impact upon those around me as this girl has among her family, friends and high school classmates? Have I enriched other's lives as deeply as she did? What would I be remembered for?
I know death may seem sad for most of you, especially those who do not share the same faith as I. But, if I have any say in the funeral plans when I pass away, I don't want there to be any sad songs. I would want there to be laughter at the silly, crazy, and entertaining things I did in life. Stories of my geekiness, my passion for making other people smile. My love for telling stories. My joy and fascination for the natural beauty in the world around us -- the things most people fail to stop and explore. Happy music with a good beat. Warm apple pie with ice cream. Lilacs. More smiles than tears.
Personally, I believe in Heaven -- eternal life with my loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Death is not the end, but a new and perfect beginning. I would want everyone present to focus on the joy of that knowledge, rather than the sadness of my passing.
I don't feel ready to go to Heaven yet; there is much I can still do here in life. But when my Earthly walk is over, I don't want it to have been in vain. And I don't want those who love me to focus on the tears. When I do go Home, it will be a happy occassion. And I want everyone present to share in that joy!