What We Can Learn from Funerals

What we can learn from funeralsWhat we can learn from funeralsI think I'll start crashing funerals. Yep, you read that right. It's my new type of therapy. Forget self-help books and sessions with your shrink, funerals are the place to be. They're surprisingly motivating.

My uncle passed last week, so we celebrated his life a few days ago. I literally feasted all day on the powerful words that were shared and the legacy of life he lived here on earth. It was incredibly motivating. Which is weird because it was incredibly sad. The thing I realized is that only positive things are said at funerals. You learn about the good in people and also walk away with new perspectives.

I came home from the days events a better person. I was exhausted, no doubt, because of the mourning, but I was uplifted to make changes in my own life and family because of his example. He suffered with Parkinson's for 35 years and never uttered one complaint.

Oh boy. I have a lot to learn. Thanks to the funeral, I'm pledging to be a better person.

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Here's what I took away from it and here's why I wouldn't mind sitting in on a few more funerals (preferably people I don't know personally.)

1. Never take a moment for granted. Funerals have a way of making every moment count. Life is fragile and seizing the day we've been given is the only thing we can do. You never know what the future will bring, so make today count!

2. It's the little things. People typically talk about the fun things they remember about the person, such as little traditions or fun memories they've had. They don't talk about bank accounts or the laundry that wasn't folded. As a mother, I would want my kids to talk about the fun things we did. Which means we need to do more fun things. I walked away with a renewed motivation for family traditions.

3. Family is most important. Life is all about family. I hugged my kids tighter when I got home from the funeral. Really, there's nothing else that matters more in the end.

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4. Be the person you want to be. I always leave funerals wondering what would be said about me if I died. I know what I would want my kids to say, so I better start living that way, huh? Very motivating!

5. Life is so beautiful. Even through its rough patches, breathing, living, experiencing and having kids is such a beautiful thing! I'm not going to complain so much anymore.

So, I gleaned from the experience and I really feel like I have a new perspective on life. It's valuable. Now, I'm going to make some cookies and love on some cute little kiddos.

Have you ever come away from a funeral and felt a new motivation for life?

- By Mandy Cheney

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