How will they think of me?

I was recently at a funeral, for the father of one of my friends. He had lived a long and productive life, was a vibrant charismatic soul, and his loss will be sorely felt by many. He had such a positive impact on so many lives. I sat there listening to eulogy after eulogy. I have been to many funerals, it’s an unfortunate part of life. At many of those funerals the eulogies were puffed up – the deceased was made out to be a better person in death than they had been in life. Not this funeral. Every wonderful thing they said about this man was true. He lived his life to the full and enjoyed every minute. He knew his purpose in the world, he served G-d with every fibre of his being. He was truly a tzaddik.

 

I am sure I am not the only one who walks away after a funeral thinking what they will say about me when I am 120 and have passed on. Will there be lies, or half truths about my nature, or will the truth be as it was for my friend’s Dad? Will there be happy laughter as my life is celebrated? Will there be people whose lives will have been changed for the better by something I did or said? Have I had an impact on this world? Or will my passing at 120 be just a minor footnote in the annals of history?

 

I guess the lesson is to take every day and live it to the full, be a good person – do unto others as you would have done unto you, don’t talk badly about people, and do go out of your way to be kind and gracious. Don’t bear grudges – life is too short. Try to see the best in everyone and everything – it’s so hard, sometimes I am good at that, and other times, well, those times remind me that I am not perfect.

 

May we all merit a long, happy and productive life. Amen.

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