Self improvement: How to prepare for a funeral

Six Questions for you before you leave this planet


Writer’s note: Sometimes you have to go with the life flow when it comes to writing a daily blog. Saturday morning when I was running I was thinking about a “fun” topic regarding the value of pretending to be the President, but after attending a relative’s funeral yesterday, caused me to consider another tack.

I remarked to my sister who was sitting next to me in the pews during the memorial service of a man who lived a “full” life by most people’s standards, 95 years, that as I get older funerals get a little more bizarre.

Not that anything bizarre happened: we paid respects to the body presented in open casket, the surviving adult children spoke lovingly and respectfully of their father, there were hints of discord in earlier life that mellowed or resolved into adulthood, the grandchildren played and sang their heartfelt musical pieces, and then random friends got up and spoke what they were moved by.

I thought that was important, how people who were shown kindness will remember the person who helped them when they were in a particular space in life.

And as the funeral procession left, another large group of funeral go-ers were beginning to cram into the parking lot for another service. The hurst transported the coffin to its resting place and was lowered into a plot on a hillside.

When I 10 years old, I experienced the first funeral that had an real impact on me was my grandmother who often lived with us. There was a sense of parting loss.

When my father passed way 24 years later, when I was 34 years old, that was heart-breaking, when the person who had the most influence on you, after a sudden illness, leaves the planet. Life is odd and bitter sweet – how you are blessed with the loss because you had something worthwhile to begin with.

I mentioned funerals are somewhat bizarre to me now, because I spend more time observing others (and myself) than just attending. Having been going through my father’s passing, I realize, the pain never really goes away, and it could be months or years afterwards when the deep sorrow comes out triggered unexpectedly by an event or circumstance.

It’s not unusual that you may not really feel it and show it the day of the funeral. Don’t get down on yourself, you are not being strange. Everyone goes through their own process.

You learn to live with it, you grow with it, you are influenced by it.

So how do you want your trip through your life described by others?

Let’s get to some questions…

Inspiration beyond the darkness. Sunset beyond the Golden Gate (1-5-14). photo by Challen Yee

Inspiration beyond the darkness. Sunset beyond the Golden Gate (1-5-14). photo by Challen Yee


My six questions to you are these:

1) How do you want to be remembered by the people who are closest to you?

2) Will anyone who survives you be able to convey to others who you were as a person? What was important to you?

3) What is the message that you want to create with your life testimony that you wanted to imprint on the heart of others when you finally make that final trip off this planet?

4) How do you want the people who you were given influence, as a parent, mentor, friend or leader, how do you want them to speak of you?

5) Will people speak of your integrity and character and give examples?

6) Will you accomplish in your life what you intend before that final passage?


Do you have any questions you would like to add to this list?


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6:30 First draft

6:57 published

I’ll see you… on the next page

Challen Yee

Challen Yee

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