What not to say after I die
Disclaimer: I am going to die one day. Right now, I am still very much alive (unless you're talking to me before 7:00 am, then I am most definitely half dead). I have done and said many of these things in my short life without any forethought. This is not meant to judge or condemn. It is simply to cause people to think. Please hear my heart and not just my words.
If you didn't read the disclaimer, stop now and do so. If you did read the disclaimer, go back and read it at least nine more times.
I am certain that in my 28 years of living that I have provided plenty of conversation topics for when I am no longer living. The good, the bad, and even the ugly. But here is what not to say after I die...
1. "She's gained her wings."
Nope, nope, nope. I have not. Neither will my Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Mom, brother, sister (I don't have one, but if she existed, she wouldn't either), son, or daughter. The implication is that I'll be in Heaven and will therefore be joining with the army of angels, but angels and humans, we're separate beings created for different purposes. There is absolutely no evidence in the Bible that we are going to become angels. Maybe I will possibly get wings with my new Heavenly body (that might be cool!), but dying will not make me an angel.
2. "She's looking down on us."
When I get to Heaven, the only place I will be looking is straight ahead at God Himself. The Bible says we will praise and worship God for all of eternity. "Um excuse me, do you think after this verse of 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,' that I might get a sneak peek of what each of my children are doing? I want to make sure they're still cleaning their rooms and eating their vegetables." Sounds silly, but it's one of those things we just don't think through or take the time to investigate if it is true. In my own opinion, there won't even be an option to watch Earth play out like reality TV. I will be given no authority over what happens to the people I leave behind, and that is a good thing. I've already messed them up enough.
3. "She was a good person."
If I were a good person, then my goodness could bypass Jesus, and I would get into Heaven on my own accord. Except I can't. I need Jesus. Sinful (bad) people need Jesus. If we always talk about how good we are, we minimize the need for a Savior. Let's welcome the fact that we all have shortcomings.
I hope my eulogy goes something like this: "She was imperfect, but she knew Perfection. She was hard-headed and loved hard. She said too much and not enough. She fed her kids Uncrustables on the regular, always fussed at her husband for not throwing away his used Keurig cups, and liked her bed more than getting up in the morning. She loved life because Jesus changed hers.”
4. “I’m thinking of your family."
You might be wondering how this made the list. But practically speaking, how is thinking of someone (or "sending good vibes" as I've also seen it phrased) helping them? What effort has been put into helping those dealing with an incredible loss? Have you or I taken time to pray for them? What about bringing them a meal? Or sending them a kind note or text? Or just asking them to spend time with you? If actions speak louder than words, then thinking of someone says nothing at all.
So, instead, celebrate!
Tell ridiculous stories about me like when I shaved my legs while driving a car.
Eat good food at my funeral. I’m not talking about those dainty hors d’oeuvres. I’m talking about good food like steak nachos or a big, greasy pizza.
Take out my middle school photos. Or don’t.
Dance to "Can't Stop the Feeling" in your living room in my honor.
Sit on your back porch at dusk watching the sun go down with friends and family. That always did my heart good.
But most of all, love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And then,love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-38).
Let your death become an avenue of hope so that others can spending eternity singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" alongside you in Heaven!
Grace Giver: God would be perfectly just by allowing us sinners to go to Hell. We deserve it. But in His love and mercy, He gave us the ability to spend all of eternity in perfection with Him. HALLELUJAH!
Truth Teller: You and I are going to die one day. What is going to be said at your funeral? Is is going to be all about how good you were, or will it be about how good Jesus is? What is Jesus going to say when you meet Him face-to-face?