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What I learnt from a funeral

Starting 2017 with the loss of my uncle was a little demoralising. Even though I wouldn’t miss him as much as his family would, witnessing anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one was not enjoyable, at all.

Initially, I was quite upset that I was obligated to spend my long weekend at the funeral as I felt like I was strong-armed into something which I did not agree to. However, living for yourself will never be as fulfilling as living for others. Hence, I decided to spend the next four days at the funeral.

Funerals are for the living and not for the dead

A funeral is for others to pay their final respect to the deceased but who are you really respecting? The deceased will not get up and acknowledge your presence and speak to you. It would be the family members of the deceased that actually attends to you. Likewise, it is the family you are respecting because you want to show that you care for them during their period of loss. And the conversations during funerals wouldn’t revolve much around the deceased because it is sad to talk about the pain and suffering. A funeral is actually a place for your friends and families to catch up with each other.

Funeral as a yardstick to measure your likability

Out of all the visitors, I wondered how many of them were friends of my late uncle. It made me  wonder how many of my friends would attend my funeral if I were to die. It would be a bitter pill to swallow if none of your friends cared about your death. However, have you ever wondered whether you are deserving of their last respects? Were you always the person at the receiving end ? Were you there for your friends when they needed you? If you did not make an effort to at least reciprocate by giving back. How do you expect anyone to be there for you? How your friends and family would treat you is a byproduct of how you are treating them. This serves as a constant reminder for me as I reflect on whether I have fulfilled my responsibility as a friend or as a family member.

Immortality is unattainable and death is inevitable, everyone of us has to make full use of the time we are given on this earth to make an impact on everyone’s lives. Living in the moment is only a temporary solution to attain happiness. To attain fulfilment, stop living for yourself and start living for others.



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