Wednesday 1 June 2011

When I'm dead and gone.

Father Ignatius was at the monthly Any Questions Meeting held at St Vincent Parish Hall, whereby parishioners and their guests asked any questions which he and Father Donald would attempt to answer and teach about the Catholic Faith.

The discussion centered about death and our achievements in life.

Father Ignatius said, “Imagine you are dead and resting in your open coffin. Your family and friends pass by to pay their last respects. What would you want them to say?”

Someone hesitantly said that she’d like people to say that she was a good wife and mother and that she always attended Mass on Sunday.

Another person added that he was a good doctor and did his best for his patients.

A third parishioner went on to say that she was a good teacher and cared for all the children in her care.

Father Ignatius noted that Theodore Luxton-Joyce, the eccentric millionaire and generous donor to the church, was scribbling away in his notepad and was somewhat un-interested. He’d only attended the Meeting to accompany his lovely wife Rose.

So the priest asked him, “How about you Theodore? What would you like people to say when they see you lying in your open coffin?”

“I’d like them to say ‘I’ve seen him move …’ ” came the swift reply as everyone laughed.

As the laughter died down Father Ignatius continued, “I’m sure they’ll say you had a great sense of humor too …

“But on a more serious note … how exactly will we be remembered?

“A parishioner once told me that it was hypocritical to always speak well of the dead. If a person had been nasty and bad in his life, the only difference is that he is now a dead nasty and bad person. And to pretend otherwise would be insincere.

“This is a little uncharitable perhaps; but that parishioner had a point.”

Father Ignatius stopped, as he often did, to punctuate the importance of what he had just said.

He then continued, “Now is the time to ensure that people will be honest when they speak about us.

“We do this by remembering Christ’s commandment to love one another. And to practice that commandment.

“The best gift we can offer each other is our presence. We all have a part to play in other people’s lives. Just think for a moment how many people rely on you … your spouse, your children, your elderly parents, your neighbors perhaps … if you’re a teacher or a doctor the children in your school rely on you, as well as your patients …

“I need not go on. But the point I’m making is that we should be generous with our time with these people. Our very presence on this earth can be a source of great joy and happiness to others.

“When Jesus was raised to Heaven, His disciples missed Him and were sad to see Him leave them. They were totally devastated and confused.

“Missing someone is a sure sign that their presence affected your life in a good way.

“So let us be remembered not for who we were but for what we have done; and how we made a real difference for the good in someone’s life.

“And even though we might not move in our open coffin, as Theodore hopes, at least our lives will have moved others.”


  1. Very amusing Victor, yet serious too. I hope I don't get buried alive!

    I want to be prodded and poked at, just to be sure.

    I also do not want to be burned alive.
    Joan of arc, I am not!

  2. Wonderful less!!! Thank you! Cathy

  3. This is a great exercise. Think about how we want to be remembered.

  4. Very thought provoking, Victor. Leave it to Theodore to bring some comic relief to the situation. It is how we loved that will matter- both to God and to those we leave behind.
    Thanks for another insightful post. God bless!

  5. Your post made me think of how we are all "one in Christ" and our lives are all like the interlocking pieces of a puzzle. It's a reminder to me that there is no such thing as an unimportant person.

    Theodore is a great character! His antics always make me smile! Good thing you gave him a patient wife :)

    Wonderful post, Victor!

  6. Hello Shadowlands, Cathy, Barb, Karinann and Mary,

    It's great to see you visiting me again. I much appreciate your visits and comments. Thank you.

    May God bless you and yours always.

  7. Really enjoyed thinking about this one Victor. Sometimes the best kick in the pants is to think about the end of our lives and work backwards. God Bless you!

  8. You're right Michael. It's quite salutory to think of what we've done with our lives.

    God bless you always friend.

  9. Thank you for this reminder. Wise counsel!

  10. Greetings Sarah,

    Thank you for taking the time to visit here and comment.

    God bless.



God bless you.