Amy Rees Anderson

A Lifetime In A Day

“A funeral is not a day in a lifetime, it’s a lifetime in a day.”

One thing in life is certain, and that is that each of us will eventually pass on from this life. When that day comes for each of us, the best we can hope for is to have words spoken about us at our own funerals such as the words spoken about my Uncle at his funeral today.  A funeral truly is one’s lifetime in a day. And we learn so much about the person who passed away when we hear each loved one share some of their most impactful moments spent with the person who has passed.

Sitting at any funeral, you cannot help but consider what people will saying at your own funeral someday.  As I sat listening to the talks shared about my Uncle, it began to hit me that if I had to boil it down to the “what we need to do in life” to have our own funeral reflect the same incredible tales of service and impact that my Uncle’s funeral did, we would need to:

*First, make sure that we spend our lives prioritizing serving God, serving our families, and serving others.

*Next, make sure that we share the lessons we’ve learned along our way with others so that others can also benefit from our failures and successes.

*And finally, make sure that we spread happiness everywhere we go to everyone we are with, helping other people to enjoy life with us.

There were too many beautiful things shared today to tell all of them but I will share one special moment that brought all of us to tears. My cousin Bob, who is my Uncle’s only son (an adult with children of his own), stood to speak at the pulpit. He shared a story of when he was a young boy riding in the car with his Grandparents when a fierce storm broke out. His Grandmother, seeing that he was scared, turned to him and asked him how he was doing. He responded, “I just want my Dad.” He then shared that as he stood there today at that pulpit all he could think was “I just want my Dad.” ….Every one of us understood exactly what he was expressing and I don’t think there was a dry eye at that point of the funeral.

Today paid beautiful tribute to a man of faith who lived his life loving his family and a man understood what it meant to truly live a life in the service of others. The last thing I will share about today was a quote read by one of the speakers at the close of the funeral that had such a powerful message I just had to share it with all of you:

“Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. “This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God.” (Alma 12:24.) But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”

…Meanwhile, we who tarry here have a few precious moments remaining “to prepare to meet God.” (Alma 34:32.) Unfinished business is our worst business. Perpetual procrastination must yield to perceptive preparation. Today we have a little more time to bless others—time to be kinder, more compassionate, quicker to thank and slower to scold, more generous in sharing, more gracious in caring.

Then when our turn comes to pass through the doors of death, we can say as did Paul: “The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:6–7.)”   – Russell M. Nelson

When our times come may we all be able to say “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith.”

~Amy Rees Anderson

1 Comment

  • Jane says:

    Beautiful Amy. The scripture.you ended with is what my dad’s Bible was open to and in the casket with him at his funeral. Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying peace for your heart.

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