Leading a memorial for a 37 year old wife and mother of a 5 and 8 year old who died unexpectedly is just one of the things I did this week to live out my calling. Not necessarily a glamorous job—this thing of being a pastor. But it is rewarding to know you are walking along side someone in their worst moments of life and maybe bringing a bit of comfort and hope to go on.  I had the opportunity once again to ask the rather somber crowd, “How do you want to be remembered?”

ChruchFuneralWe should all ask ourselves that question on a regular basis until we are sure we have a clear and concise answer. How do you want to be remembered? It is a foundational question for establishing a purposeful life. It is core question in forming a life plan.

My friend Steve Spring has been writing about the importance of writing a life plan. In his blog this week, he used Stephen Covey’s suggestion of imagining your own funeral. He suggested two simple steps. First, imagine the important people who might attend your funeral: your spouse or significant other, your children, your family, your friends and your co-workers. And second, what are they saying about you as a husband, a parent, a friend and co-worker? Steve would direct you to go through each of your responsibilities in life and write down what you want people to say about you in this role when you are gone? Sobering but powerful.

funeral carAs I moderated the public sharing time at the memorial service this week, I heard multiple people from this young woman’s life get up and talk about the impact she left as a friend, a co-worker, a daughter and more.  I sort of doubt if this 37 year old had intentionally gone through this exercise to prepare for this moment, but I can only imagine she was extremely pleased by what each person said. She was a woman of purpose. A woman who authentically loved others. A woman who worked hard, served joyfully and gave generously of herself.

What will the most important people in your life say when you are gone? The good news is, you are reading this so there is still time to make adjustments and changes.  What steps or action will you take this week to make sure you are remembered in the way you wish to be? Do you need to change anything at home? At work? With God?


QUESTION: What is the most important thing you would want said about you at your funeral? Share it in the comment section below.


5 responses to How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

  1. mary eisman on May 31, 2013 at 1:05 PM Reply

    i want to be remembered as that person who honored god and was knocked down several times and got right back up again.with my cancer and my back operation and the worst of all the loss of my son timothy,but with the love of god i made it.life is what you make it so ask for his guideance and you will be amazed,i know i am.thank you dennis.

  2. Robert Dubois on May 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM Reply

    What you can say about someone that you love and admire when she or he is not there anymore. I’m sure there will be an empty place in your life when that person is gone to see our God. But we need to remember all the positive of that person. And forget the negative side of her/him. Car even Jesus did not condemn the negative side of human being and say not do it again. Even Jesus knows the hardiest hearth of each person. The only one thing that I want people is to remember that I’m a loving person and I love people. And I try to do my best. I want them to forgive me for my hardiest hearth that I some time have with people. Remember only this is that I love everyone.

  3. Carmen on May 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM Reply

    Great post today. I remember saying to a former boss lady that I wanted to live my life with the qualities that I wanted people to say about me at my funeral. (loving, friendly, helpful, servant, Godly) She said “people are already saying that about you!” Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Robert Dubois on May 30, 2013 at 9:29 AM Reply

    All my life i want to serve other, help them to walk with love of others.

  5. Timorhy Hamilton on May 30, 2013 at 6:45 AM Reply

    I would like to have it said I was a an who served and honored God.

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