Discover the Significance of Life

Death brings focus to our lives.  Here is an attempt to extend the staying power of that focus.  Everyone that has lost a loved one has a void due to that loss. This is where the commonality stops. 

At services, some gather to remember with great joy - a life - full of years, an abundance of memories and stories that will be told for generations. Some mourn the untimely death of a loved one, deprived of time and opportunities to form memories.

During the service, families gain strength, recognizing that the task ahead is not to diminish our connection with our deceased loved one, but instead, to discover new ways to hold on and re-connect with the person who has died. This task is ours whether our loved one lived a life that spanned a century – or they were taken from us too soon.

The following poem by Michael Josephson – an author, professor of Law, and founder of the Character Counts! youth service initiative – that I believe will help to separate the mundane daily tasks that cloud our decisions, from the moments of reality that shine through and guide us on our journey.

May your reading and sharing of it brighten your path.


“Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.”

“So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end. It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.

Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.”

“So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.”

”Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.

It really matters!”


My prayer for the families we serve and for the readers of this post is that we recognize the significance of our lives through the eyes of those we nurture, care for, and to whom we will ultimately pass our knowledge, values and example.

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