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Tuesday 19 January 2016

Be happy…. think about death! 2016 Resolutions.

Be happy…. think about death!

WANT a better 2016? Try thinking more about your every day. No I don’t mean your routine or your eating habits or lack of exercise or business financials but about your work - why you do what you do.

Meditating death is a key to better living. Contemplating our own demise forces us into considering the present and future. Knowing that one day it will all come to an end (depending on your beliefs) allows the brain to acknowledge the present and living and the countless opportunities that await us. The future depends on what you do now, today. Death will surely come knocking - as a professional in the funeral industry you know this but are you ready for it? Have you fulfilled your Bucket List? If by some miracle you have then create a new one for 2016. If you have procrastinated on your Bucket List until now then make 2016 the year you complete the list. To make this easier and more achievable when planning always try to vividly visualize the activity - when is it happening, where and how?

Sometimes we can become to engulfed in our work day to day that we lose sight of why we do what we do until we lose someone ourselves and then it is often too late. So if you are planning a summer holiday this year - if this was to be the last one ever - with whom would you go and spend some time? Where would you go? What would you do when there? How long would you go for?

If this year were your last, would you spend the next hour mindlessly checking your social media, or would you call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while? Would you spend the day with your family or spend the day helping other families? Some of our choices are not easy, or fair and sometimes it takes looking death directly in the eye before we realize the real choices we want to and should make. Although his name is now forever associated with drug allegations in sport some would say that it took a serious potentially fatal cancer diagnosis to send Lance Armstrong on to make history and win seven consecutive Tour de France championships. What will your Tour de France be?

There’s still time to rethink your resolutions. Forget losing weight, giving up cigarettes (although you should try!) and saving money. Those are New Year’s resolutions for regular joe soaps but you’re a funeral director. You live, breathe and sleep death so why not apply it to your own life and this year, improve your outlook: Be fully alive now by thinking about your demise. Have a Happy  and Healthy 2016!

Steve Jobs 

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

Sunday 17 January 2016

Don't ever let anything stop you

I just listened to Tony Robbins and his 2006 TedTalks piece. I watched through to the end and was glad I did when he told a beautiful touching story about his experience of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America. He was right when he claimed that it is when people are faced with extreme adversity and death that they become emotionally and physically driven to change the course of their lives and to LIVE their life.

This is what he said:
"When 9/11 happened -- I'll finish with this -- I was in Hawaii. I was with 2,000 people from 45 countries. We were translating four languages simultaneously for a program that I was conducting for a week. The night before (9/11) was called "Emotional Mastering.".......And all of a sudden I said, "When do people really start to live? When they face death."

And then I went through this whole thing about, if you weren't going to get off this island, if nine days from now you were going to die, who would you call, what would you say, what would you do?

One woman -- well, that night is when 9/11 happened -- one woman had come to the seminar and when she came there, her previous boyfriend had been kidnapped and murdered. Her friend, her new boyfriend, wanted to marry her, and she said no. He said, "If you leave and go to that Hawaii thing, it's over with us." She said, "It's over."

When I finished that night, she called him and left a message at the top of the World Trade Center where he worked, saying, "Honey, I love you, I just want you to know I want to marry you. It was stupid of me."

She was asleep, because it was 3 a.m. for us, when he called her back from the top and said, "Honey, I can't tell you what this means." He said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but you gave me the greatest gift because I'm going to die." And she played the recording for us in the room.

She was on Larry King later, and he said, "You're probably wondering how on Earth this could happen to you twice." And he said, "All I can say to you is, this must be God's message to you, honey. From now on, every day give your all, love your all. Don't let anything ever stop you."

Friday 15 January 2016

Celebrity deaths and public mourning

Just this week we lost David Bowie and Alan Rickman to that devastating disease called cancer. It was a sad week in Celebrity world and millions of people around the world reacted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to name a few. Why do we mourn people who we have never met so publicly?

Millions attended Whitney Houston's funeral and listened to "I will always love you" as her body left the local church. After Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros was killed covering a Libyan uprising, thousands attended his memorial service. The majority of the audience at each of these funerals attended them virtually which is one of the few things that is changing the way we mourn and how we do funerals in the 21st Century. EVERYONE can be let in to experience this historically private event.

Snapchat, YouTube and Twitter have also made us much more comfortable with sharing intimate details about ourselves online with strangers on a constant basis. Many deaths and funerals are reported, commented on, tweeted, snapped, recorded and posted online before even their loved ones have heard of the news.

According to Famous NYC Funeral Home to the Stars Frank E Campbell 'They (the public) Want Closure'. The funeral home stood as a backdrop to those who came to mourn Heath Ledger in NYC in 2008, as his casket was carried from the home, and the media and fans who came to watch. The intense dedication and unity of the mourners, the familial connections felt for people they have never met, the volatility of grief was apparent for all to see and this is not just reserved for Heath Ledger and his fans but to every "celebrity" or person in the publin arena. "They need to be a part of that life that they ... have never touched personally, individually, privately, and in person — but through the media, through television, through the movies, it was very much a part of their growing up and their life. They want closure," Schultz (director) said. "People from every walk of life."