Will Anyone Cry at My Funeral?

19 November 2021

Editor’s Note: The following was submitted and the sender wanted to remain anonymous. The writer is fine. They just want to make sure the focus is on the article and you, and not them.

I’d like to think that I am a good person, that I try my best each day to help other people, to have an impact and care about their well-being. I know that I am far from perfect.  I have made my share of mistakes.  I haven’t always been as honest as I should be. I have let my ego guide me and get in the way, I have talked more than listened, and sometimes I have been downright mean. 

I’ve spent most of my adult life as a firefighter and an EMT.  I know I have had an impact on peoples lives, but I also know my family has suffered for my commitment to this life.  I haven’t always been a good husband or father, even though I may have provided the necessities for my family.  

I wonder how my brothers and sisters view me.  Has our firehouse interaction just been polite courtesy?  Or am I the person they really enjoy being with and would feel comfortable calling in their moment of need. 

Life is complex and complicated as is people.   We will often overlook and forgive bad behavior, but at some point does enough become too much? So the one day it hit me, when my time is through, will I have done enough to earn the tears of those I love?  If I could look down at my funeral would I be surprised at the number of folks crying?  Or more surprised at the number that aren’t?  

We should always do what we do for the right reasons, never for the reward and I guess it really doesn’t matter if anyone cries or not, because I won’t be there to notice.  But every day I live, I feel like I am in less control of my life, and being the person I should strive to be.  Every day I live I realize how little I know about people and life.  

So if you’re reading this and thinking I am sad, nothing could be further from the truth.  This is really an honest look into my life and whether I am doing my best or not, and how confusing figuring that out can be. I don’t have any great wisdom for you, obviously I am on the struggle bus myself.  But if you had to ask me what I thought would make a difference, I would say this:

  • Be a good person whenever you can.
  • You don’t have to help everyone, but help someone.
  • Argue less, listen more.  Try and see things through the eyes of others.
  • Take the time to be with your people.  Be in the moment.  Be engaged. 

Maybe if you do all those things, one day you won’t be sitting here wondering if anyone will cry at your funeral.

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay.

Published by Data Not Drama

Data Not Drama is writings that provide a point of critical thought about firefighter fatality data and education, line of duty deaths, and risk. The main focus is to encourage less risk aversion and better knowledge on the subject of firefighter fatalities in firefighters, fire departments, and fire service organizations.

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