Death and Tombstones

So a strange topic to say the least. I have been to around 3 funerals in the last couple of months and many things I have seen and experienced at these got me to thinking.

We see only our point of view or things from our perspective

One thing that struck me at a number of funerals was that the perception that I and my family members had of the deceased was totally different to what others had seen. So while all along we had thought that our perception was correct and this was who this person really was – this idea was challenged by the overwhelming response of so many others at the funeral. For example one might see an aunt or uncle as someone who is at odds with the rest of the family and who is not being fair; while in another role those co-workers of this aunt of uncle may see them as being unbelievably friendly and going out of their way to help others and trying to make a positive difference. An entirely different perspective. So one thing we can learn from this is – that our perception is just that – our perception – and this may be just one view of a complex person – so who are we to judge. I was at the funeral of my uncle last evening and was amazed that this quiet person I had known – had been known in his youth to be extremely fun loving, and naughty – even to the extent of wrecking his brother’s car – and that he had also been extremely popular with the young girls in his day. Hearing this was truly a revelation to me and underscored the fact that we see only one side of a person – and this too which is colored by the opinions of those around us, those who influence us, and the circumstances in which we have seen this person acting and behaving. Could be and indeed is in most circumstances – quite skewed.

We don’t know what the other person is thinking or why they are doing what they are doing

We are quick to make judgments and come to conclusions as to why someone acted in a certain way – but again this is just based on our perception and seeing things from our lenses. The truth of the matter is – we really don’t know. So instead of jumping to conclusions – when someone does something – or we perceive someone’s actions or behavior as something which is hurtful to us – we could just ask the person and clarify our doubts.

Let’s act now

Lots of times family members, relatives and close friends of the deceased grieve very much because they have lost the opportunity to build bridges, appreciate the deceased, say they were sorry, and indeed for very close family members to say ‘I love you’  and now it seems to be too late. I know this was the case with my dad – when he suddenly passed away one of the things I regretted the most was not having spent enough time with him and actually thanking him for all he had done for me. So let’s not wait till it’s too late – let’s say we are sorry, build bridges and indeed not feel shy to say ‘I Love You’ before it is too late.

Death comes to us all Article #32-4

However rich or poor we are, however famous or not so famous, death will someday come to us all. How we live our earthly life depends so much on how we see our journey here on earth and the purpose we think we have isn’t it? I read somewhere that we are actually heavenly beings having an earthly experience and not the other way around! If this is indeed the case and more and more I personally believe it to be so – what we experience on earth doesn’t matter too much – as it is just an experience and doesn’t define who we are. Much like eating at different restaurants and trying out different flavors and cuisines.

Let’s just enjoy the ride and try to help other travelers along the way. A good wake up call for me when I attended these funerals I was speaking off – was to once again re-visit what I thought my purpose was and the legacy I would like to leave.

My Tombstone

What would we like to be known for when we are no more? What would we like people to say about us? What is the difference we would want to have made in the world? What would we want to have said about us on our ‘tombstone’?

Something to think about isn’t it? And once done we then have a clearer path to follow – and guidelines and markers to ensure we are following what we think is our divine purpose. Let’s enjoy our journey to the utmost as it is an earthly experience of heavenly beings – who are made of the same stuff as the stars.

Article #32-2


  1. I so agree with you. specially “colored by the opinions of those around us, those who influence us, and the circumstances in which we have seen this person acting and behaving”


  2. So very true Sanjeev. Funerals always make me reflect on and pause for a moment to be reminded how fragile the gift of life is, how precious our loved ones are but at the same time realize that it’s a person’s individual journey that counts…one comes into the world alone….goes away alone….but we have a chance to live on in the hearts of people we touch and cared for in some way. I actually get to sing at many funeral and Thanksgiving services. I consider it a time of reflection of my own life. Loved the article!!! P.


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