Death and Taxes

Last year I was at a funeral for one of my wife’s friend’s father.  The funeral was somber yet his death was not totally unexpected so the atmosphere was one of hope.   During this experience, some thoughts came to my mind that brought some perspective to my life:

1. Own Your Age

  • Too many people are intimidated by their age.  They fear another year being added to their life so they live in denial.  The truth is the years will keep coming no matter what we do so why be afraid?  Let’s embrace our age and make it our own.
  • When we were at the funeral my wife connected with some friends she had not seen in many years.  They laughed and shared stories and were comfortable with who they were and their current stage of life.  It was a joy to watch them talk about family, houses, bills, etc…  They were enjoying their stage of life and it showed in how they acted.  Too many people let their age intimidate them so they never really enjoy their life in the moment. When you are always wishing to be a different age than what you are, you are not fully experiencing the life you have right now

2. Prioritize Your Friendships

  • The reality is you do not see some people until there is a wedding or a funeral.  We all lament this reality but few of us do anything about it.  I am guilty in this area.  I have allowed too many good friendships to fall into the past and have not done enough to prioritize the connections with some of those friends.
  • In our society today, keeping friendships can be very difficult.  Many of us move numerous times and friendships over long distances are hard, even with social media.  I am not saying every friendship has to last forever.  I believe there are seasons of friendships that we all share that are very rich and fulfilling.  However, there are some friendships that we should maintain and the only way to do that is to prioritize them.

3. Live Good Memories

  • Make good choices as often as you can.  People remember the choices you make and often that is how they remember you.  Whenever my wife and her friends would catch up about people they would share stories of their past.  These memories were completely based on the stories they told about the choices those friends made.  Some were good choices, some were bad choices, but the point is that is how they remembered people.
  • How will people remember you?  What stories will they tell?  This reality helps us to make better choices today so people have better memories of us tomorrow.
Taxes are inevitable and so is death.  We can either live in denial and act like they will not really happen, or we can step up and face them with a positive attitude.  Death is never an easy topic, but the reality of it should be harnessed and used to motivate our lives each day.
Which area of your life do you need to work on when you look at your life from the perspective of a funeral?