In your mind’s eye, see yourself going to the funeral of a loved one. Picture yourself driving to the funeral venue, parking the car and getting out. As you walk inside the building, you notice the flowers, the soft organ music. You see the faces of friends and family as you pass along the way. You feel the shared sorrow of losing, the joy of having known that radiates from the hearts of the people there.

ALSO READ…IF I DIE TODAY…part (1) by Adeogun Kayode

As you walk down to the front of the room and look inside the casket, you suddenly come face to face with yourself. This is your funeral, five years from today. All these people have come to honour you, to express feelings of love and appreciation for your life.


As you take a seat and wait for the services to begin, you look at the program in your hand. There are to be four speakers. The first is your family, immediate and extended- children, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents who have come from all other countries to attend. The second speaker is one of your friends, someone who give you a sense of what you are as a person. The third speaker is from your work or profession. And the fourth is from your church or some community organization where you’ve been involved in service.

Now think deeply. What would you like each of those speakers to say about you and your life. What kind of husband, wife, father, or mother would you like their words to reflect? What kind of son, daughter or cousin? What kind of friend? What kind of working associate? What kind of character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember?


Look carefully at the people around you, what difference would you like to have made in their lives? If you carefully consider what you wanted to be said of you in the funeral experience, you will find your definition of success. It may be different from the definition you thought you had in mind. Perhaps fame, achievement, money or some of the other things we strive for are not part of the right wall. When you begin with the end in mind, you gain a different perspective. One man asked another on the death of a mutual friend: “How much did he leave?” His friend responded: “He left it all.”

Adeogun Kayode 

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