Lesson from a Funeral

I attended a funeral on Saturday. A man who was born, raised, and lived his entire life within a 20 mile radius. At age 71 cancer stole him away. The service was one of those really good celebrations of life. His daughter and two of his grand-daughters spoke. Their remembrances and eulogies were real to who he was. Allowing for laughter as well as tears. I find solace in what some might think irreverent. The phrase from the funeral that sticks with me “He was a better patron than bartender. More of a public relations guy. While his wife worked behind the counter.”

There is a part of me that feels a life lived entirely within one area with an occupation that was primarily driving truck is a life that missed out. There is so much more to do and be in this world.

The pursuits of business, hopefully, fulfill and elevate us. Give us a way to challenge our comfort zones, be something more and grow. All of which I prefer. If I wasn’t expanding who I was, wasn’t pushing to know more, to be better at my craft, I’d feel stuck. Maybe even trapped. I believe the human spirit needs ways to stretch in order to thrive. This is part of my definition of a life well lived.

He drove truck for farms in the area.

I recognized on Saturday I’d be missing the point if I held this as a standard to judge others against. The real richness of life is in relationships. Even relationships where the words “I love you.” are never spoken. It’s in how we tolerate each other. How we demand what we need. How we fume and fuss and connect and laugh and hug and play cards that make a rich life. Any work is good work if you find meaning in it. Feel useful. No work however elevated will fill the void if you are without family and friends.

The packed house, standing room only, funeral is a testament to a full life. It gives me pause to take a moment and really see the people around me. I am blessed with spouse, children, parents, siblings and in-laws. I have neighbors, church people, coaching peers, clients, networking connections and a plethora of friends. As I write these out my heart swells and my eyes get moist. Good shit.

Take a moment today. Think through everyone you have connection with. Celebrate them. Recognize your full life.

For Your Best Possible Self,
Coach Christine Clark