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We have just one life to really, truly live

Maybe it is because I am getting older or maybe it is because more people I know are passing on but, over the past few years, I have found myself attending an increasing number of funerals/homegoing services.

After a while, you begin to notice certain patterns that are common threads throughout all of these services.

It seems you can break down funeral/homegoing services into specific time segments. Perhaps I am over analysing, but just indulge me for a moment.

Five minutes is what it takes to lower your casket/coffin/urn into a grave. Five minutes for six friends and family to hold a strap and gently ease you into your final zip code.

Five minutes for the most emotionally agonising process one can be honoured to ask to perform.

Fifteen minutes is the average time it takes to have a eulogy or an obituary read out. Fifteen minutes for someone to sum up the life of someone in spoken word.

Often, we hear that the dearly departed was someone who loved to fish, cook, and/or travel. Even more commonly, we hear about their achievements and love of family.

I am not quite sure how an entire life can be compressed into fifteen minutes. Yet fifteen minutes is what we get to have our life story vocalised.

Perhaps we should write our own obituaries? One hour is what you have for your entire service if you happen to have an Anglican or Catholic mass. One hour for the reading of scriptures and a hymn or two. Some may get the chalice of incense waved.

Nevertheless, within one hour, you are wheeled out to your final zip code.

Two hours are what you get if your service is at an AME , Church of God, or Pentecostal faith church. Two hours of friends and family streaming to the alter to give tributes and or to sing special songs selected to pay you homage.

You may get a choir. You may get liturgical dancers. You may even get a video tribute on a big screen. Yet, regardless of the number or variety of ways you are honoured, once those two hours are up, you too will get wheeled out to your final zip code.

One Life To Live is not just a name of soap opera. “One life to live” is all we have been given by our creator.

We have this one life to make both right and wrong choices.

We have this one life to make friends and to create enemies.

We have this one life to be a part of a family and to raise our own families.

We have this one life to choose to stay inside of our social circles or to push out and expand beyond those social circles.

We have this one life to complain about society or to help construct a better one.

We have this one life to learn a new language, a new skill, a new culture.

One life.

That's it. Just one life to really and truly live.

One thing is for sure, most, if not all of us, will have those time segments sooner or later. Until then, make the most of the one life you have. Love you all.

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Published March 23, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 23, 2015 at 1:15 am)

We have just one life to really, truly live

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