Updated: Jul 25
The scene was melancholic, nostalgic, and most of all, beautiful.
The scene was the funeral of my former high school teacher.
Since I was five years old until my mid-twenties, I experienced multiple deaths — from relatives, friends, and classmates, to neighbours and colleagues.
However, this was the first time I attended a funeral and the most resounding adjective I can use to describe the event was breathtakingly beautiful.
Those who gave speeches spoke of someone generous, kind, and funny. The speakers — and by extension, the audience members — reflected deeply, cried sorrowfully, and laughed delightedly.
The extent to which we dread death is the extent to which we have cheated ourselves in life.
The pews were filled. Even standing, people filled up the back. Attendees loomed their way along the surrounding stairways and foyer, and many stood outside the double entrance doors.
Outside of the in-person attendees, many more attended online from their office desks.
Looking around, there was absolutely no doubt that his presence made life more beautiful for each and every person present at the funeral.
His memory, in a way, can inspire all of us to be cognizant of death, not as a way to punish oneself; but rather, as a way to give ourselves the greatest gift of all: to live our lives fully.
In psychology, this concept is known as mortality motivation, defined by Dr. Marwa Azab as the “enormous energy generated and liberated by accepting that we are mortal, and that our time is limited.”
Having encountered the deaths of many people at an early age, I learned to come to terms with death by firstly, learning a life lesson from the loved one who passed away and secondly, by embodying that life lesson as a way to honour that loved one.
Attending my previous teacher’s funeral taught me a lesson in Beauty. Specifically, the beauty in creating a Life Worth Living.
I learned to come to terms with death by firstly, learning a life lesson from the loved one who passed away and secondly, by embodying that life lesson as a way to honour that loved one.
After all, people most often regret the things they did not do rather than the things they did do. Moreover, the clients I’ve worked with who are the most at peace are the ones who have deliberately chosen to live a life in congruence with who they are.
This is because the extent to which we dread death is the extent to which we have cheated ourselves in life.
After learning this, why do we wait? Why do we hold back? Why do we avoid the inevitable?
Live life authentically.
Live life truly.
Start living life now.