I had always heard the phrase “there are no hearses hauling u-hauls” when discussions occurred at the time of a loved one’s funeral … and what ended up being important to the deceased person. I accepted that phrase as being true. But guess what … there really are pictures of hearses hauling u-hauls.
A FUNNY PICTURE
I just thought that this was funny … and wanted to share that with you. I realize that the u-hauls in the above picture were probably for all the flowers etc. that accompanied a particular funeral. But I also realize that the above phrase as it pertains to what is truly important does apply.
While there may be hearses hauling u-hauls, there are no u-hauls in heaven. For there is nothing tangible that we bring with us when we die.
How much money we made/have …
How successful we are …
How much “stuff” we have accumulated …
Whatever other trappings of success that we have …
at the last pages of the last chapter of our lives, none of it is relevant.
IMPORTANCE BROUGHT HOME BY MOM’S DEATH
This was brought home to me forcefully this past week with the death of my 96-year-old mother. Mom’s death was not unexpected for while she was, according to her doctor, ‘as healthy as a horse and as stubborn as a mule’, she had lived for almost a century. But still … what wasn’t important was the “stuff” she left behind. What was important was that her passing left a hole in our hearts.
I HAVE NEVER HEARD
In reading about this topic and talking with clients and others about it, I have never heard of a dying person regretting that they did not accumulate more …
More …. the list can go on
What they did regret may surprise you. For an in depth look at the regrets of the hying, check out Bronnie Ware’s best-selling novel called “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”. Ms. Ware, a palliative nurse from Australia, took care of patients in their last three to twelve weeks of life, and heard many stories and confessions from them all. While she said that all of them found peace before their death, listening to their regrets moved her so much that she actually wrote about it.
WHAT THEY DID REGRET
The most important thread that runs through the list of regrets involves relationships.
I wish I had treated my family with more kindness and expressed more love and appreciation toward them.
I wish treated my friends the same way.
But to have meaningful relationships is not effortless … you have to build those relationships …
you have to care about it,
you have to commit to it, and
you have to hold yourself accountable to that commitment. It’s not effortless — but it is worth the effort.
WHY MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT
The Society for Personality and Social Psychology says meaningful relationships help you thrive. In fact, meaningful relationships pose a number of benefits: improved mental health, decreased mortality rates, better perceived well-being, higher self-confidence, broader perspectives and understanding, increased resilience — the list goes on.
Upon reviewing the data gathered by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Medical Daily goes so far as to call developing meaningful relationships “the healthiest thing you’ll do” during the duration of your life.
SO WHERE DO WE START?
I think one way to look at starting this can be found in a LinkedIn conversation that I had with @Jermaine Edwards the other day about how we start to build relationships with our older / adult children. As business owners and professionals we have devoted a lot of our time to the building of our businesses and careers. And our children, regardless of age, may feel that ‘we care more about our clients … more about our careers … more about our businesses … then we do them’.
HIS STORY … HIS PATH … MAYBE OUR PATH
Having had God work on his heart, after 2 weeks of trying to muster the courage to have the conversation, he went to his children and
Asked for forgiveness
Shared his heart for what he wanted to build with them as their dad
Invited them to share their experience(s)
Asked them to work with him on a check-in plan.
This is the place where everyone of us who feel that meaningful relationships are important need to start from – from that hard conversation.
Are you up to the challenge?
And for something to make you smile … click below and it will take you to a song entitled “No U-Hauls to Heaven”. https://youtu.be/L4X5ET4lIhg