I’m Not Dead Yet

Gilberto Araujo is a 41 year old Brazillian man who has done what very, very few people will have the opportunity to do. He turned up at his own wake.

A Brazilian man shocked his family when he appeared at his own wake, police in north-eastern Brazil say.

The family was gathered around the body of what they believed to be 41-year-old car washer Gilberto Araujo when the man himself showed up, causing some relatives to faint.

The body in the coffin is believed to be that of another car washer, who relatives say looked like Gilberto. – BBC News

I wonder if he was surprised to see who was there or even who wasn’t. Of course, while it was a relief and a time for rejoicing for Gilberto’s family, there’s now another family and group of friends mourning someone they loved.

The Final Farewell

Sometimes I wonder who’ll turn up at my funeral when my life here is over. Will those who do show up have good things to say or will their silence tell a different story? I will have no chance to control what’s said when the time comes but I can do something about it while I’m still here by the way I choose to live my life. Will I leave friends and family with good memories? That’s up to me and the choices I make every day of my life.

I wonder about what kind of difference I’m making to the wider world. Will I be missed by more than those close to me? Will there be those I’ve never met who will be thankful that I was once alive? Am I making a difference through my work and through the the volunteer tasks I undertake?

Skeletons in the Closet

While we’re on the subject of our own passing, or at least I am, I reckon that something worth thinking about is having my family sort through all my belongings. I try to live an honest and open life so there wouldn’t be any surprises, but I’ve heard stories of people passing on, only have their loved ones find out later that the person they thought they knew was someone quite different to the image they had portrayed.

Wouldn’t it be awful for a family dealing with their grief to discover the person they thought they knew was hiding some dark secret?

I reckon the easiest way to avoid having skeletons in our closets revealed after our deaths is not to find better hiding spots, but to ensure that we maintain our integrity both when people are watching as well as when there’s no one else around. We tend to like ourselves a lot better that way too.

I’m not dead yet

I should probably add that all this talk about leaving this planet isn’t because I’m planning on doing so anytime soon. I’m enjoying life too much to go at the moment. I have a magnificent family, a great job, wonderful friends and a blog that needs updating regularly. I’m not planning on leaving it all behind just yet, but you never know when your time is up.

Being confident that there’s something better beyond the grave isn’t going to convince me to get there any faster than I need to. I believe in life after death but I’d like to ensure that I get to live this life first.

What About You?

Do you ever wonder how it would be if you were no longer around? Will those you leave behind remember you as someone who made a positive difference to their world? Are you involved in things that will mean that your life will have an impact even after you’re gone?

I wonder also if you believe that there’s something more than this life. Have you seriously considered what there may be beyond the grave? Is your daily life reflecting your belief?

I’d love to hear your point of view on the whole subject. I look forward to reading your comments.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • My Nana always reckoned no one would turn up to her funeral but it was standing room only (and not much of that left!!) when she died about 4 years ago.

    We’ve recently found out an interesting fact about Niel’s grandfather’s family through old census records in England…

    • Tracing family histories seems to be a lot easier these days with a lot of records available online. Our family is finding all sorts of information.

      I reckon when I go, people will just have to read my blog archives. 🙂

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