Sunday 10 April 2022

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 centred 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 uninterested. 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 neighbours 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. Let us 'NOT' forget what to~day really is..
    Palm Sunday...
    Celebrates the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem
    on the back of a donkey..
    And according to Christian teaching, as he
    approached Jerusalem, he told two of his
    disciples to go into a nearby village and
    bring him a donkey on which he would then
    ride into the city...
    There is a need to do more to love one another
    and to serve all people, especially the poor..!
    I want to be remembered by God..'NOT' by people
    staring into my coffin..they won't be able to
    anyway..The 'LID' will be firmly 'CLOSED'..!
    I've been ogled 'ALL' my life, l certainly 'DON'T
    want to be ogled after my death..! :(.
    🐇 🐰 🥚 🐇 🐰 🥚 🐇 🐰 🥚 🐇 🐰 🥚 🐇 🐰

    1. Yes, good thoughts Willie today being Palm Sunday. Jesus had spent His life doing good and loving others and on this day He was preparing for the ordeal ahead and His horrific terrible Crucifixion ... and Resurrection to follow.

      God bless.

  2. ...death is part of life.

  3. Hi Victor,
    Whoever would be watching my fleshly body in a coffin would not see the spiritual body in Christ Jesus, and I would hope that they would say 'I hope you did what the Holy Spirit brought you to do while you was part of the body of Christ on this earth.' God bless.

    1. Good thoughts, Brenda, Amen. I agree.

      God bless always.

  4. Good story and thoughts as always, I like the good Father. I do hope someone will at least say, "He was one bald dude, but at least he was honest!" LOL

    1. Thank you so much, Jack. Another of my Father Ignatius stories.

      God bless you and Sherry.

  5. Dearest Victor,
    As Pieter's Dad always emphasized; whatever you do in life, make sure you leave a mark. A good and lasting impression on others...
    Guess you have managed to do so in your many books! A written word is far more a lasting impression.

    1. Indeed Mariette, our responsibility is to make a mark, an impression on the world; leaving it as a better place if we can.

      God bless you and your family.

  6. Do your best, be kind to all.

  7. Tho' I've stumbled and fallen flat on my face more often than not, I hope others would admit, "She tried."
    Your closing sentence is wonderful!

    1. We try our best and we often stumble whilst doing so, Mevely. I sometimes, (often), don't succeed. I am low on patience. May God have patience on me.

      God bless you dear friend.

  8. Being kind will never be regretted. Being mean? That will always be remembered, by yourself and the ones who were hurt by your words.
    This was part of my classroom mantra.

    1. Good mantra, Susan. Be kind and hope for the best.

      God bless always.

  9. Begin with the end in mind. If they remember i loved Jesus, it's enough.

  10. Another fantastic Fr. Ignatius story, Victor! Yes, may we be remembered for the kindness we showed and the time we gave to others just because we can spread Jesus' love in this hurting world.
    Blessed Palm Sunday to you and yours!

    1. Thank you Martha. The world needs so much love and caring right now. Both are in short supply.

      Best wishes for a blessed Holy Week, Martha.

      God bless you and yours.

  11. I would like people to say "Thank you for being there when we needed you. We'll miss you." I know several bloggers who really deserve that sentiment.



God bless you.