I was the celebrant at a funeral this morning for a person who by all accounts lived a good life and made a lot of friends and who was loved. He was 25 at his passing and died by his own hand.
Something I have always emphasised at such occasions is that it is important to celebrate the life that has been lived and not just mourn its passing. Something similar is often said at funerals.
It was only after the ceremony as I watched the presence of the intense grief of those who had loved him that I thought “How is a life supposed to be celebrated?”. Had I asked myself this question before or even during the service my answer would have been as follows:
Celebrate the life of those who have passed. How to celebrate that life is summed up in one word – LIVING. Honor your friend by living. Seek out Love. If you have already found love then nurture it and make it grow. Seek to cross any divides with family and with friends. Live compassionately and passionately. When talking of those who have passed do it with passion: Whether you’re angry, upset or remembering fondly, be passionate.
Grief is part of that celebration as we grieve for the celebration that is lost. But that grief must give rise to a further inspiration to LIVE.
When my time comes, that is how I would like to be celebrated.