I spent this afternoon at the bedside of a mate who only has a couple of days left to live. Terminal liver cancer is about to claim him and he has just celebrated his 59th birthday.
I’ve known Les for 41 years and it is so hard to watch how he has wasted away. I can’t imagine life without his constant, cheery, telephone calls and crazy emails that he sends me from time to time.
Most of all, I can’t fathom why a man of unfailing generosity and kindness should be taken from us when other, less generous and less charitable souls get to live a long and healthy life.
He has asked me to speak at his funeral. How do you sum up a man’s life? What can you say that can adequately express what another person means to you? What can you say that can comfort the widow and the children and grandchildren? Words are not enough.
Most of all, sitting beside his bed this afternoon watching him drift into eternity reminded me that each of us have a responsibility to live our lives so that no-one will have to lie at our funeral. I know that I will be able to praise his character and his life without once resorting to half-truth, white lies or evasion.
I hope that, when my time comes, I will be able to entrust my eulogy to someone who can tell the unvarnished truth about me and be proud to look my family in the eye as he does so.
Shakespeare said, “..out, out, brief candle. Life’s but a walking shadow; a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”
And the Apostle James sums it up like this..”Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
What will YOU be remembered for?