Funerals are occasions for friends and loved ones to express thoughts they’ve probably never expressed to the dearly departed. Mike Hall says, "Why wait?"
I’m 44 years old and I've never been to a funeral. In college a good friend died, but his parents asked us not to attend. When my grandmother died the trip was too far. When my grandfather died my parents said I was too young. This year I was unable to make it to the U.K. for the funeral of my cousin.
Still, for the last 20 years I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about funerals. My mini-obsession started when I read “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey. Covey asks you to imagine your own funeral. Who would speak? What would they say about you? Write it all down, then work backwards from there and think about how you can live your life to have that funeral.
When I go on long walks, or my mind wanders during meditation, I think about this principle, and I fantasize. I fantasize about what people will say at my funeral, but also the amazing speeches I could give at the funerals of people I care about.
Then just recently it hit me. I have all these amazing things I’ve prepared to say about people once they're dead, but very few I’d planned to say to them while they are alive.