What Attending 300 Funerals Taught Me About Living

Christian Life & Theology

I remember holding her hand as she took her last breaths on this Earth. She lived to be over 90 years old but her life was one of sorrow and regret.

Leaving her little room in the assisted living center to the care of the nursing staff, I called in her death to the head nurse.

This was a normal day for me since I worked as a hospice chaplain. Another day, another death.

During my time as a chaplain, I’ve had the opportunity of attending over 300 funerals. I’ve witnessed the effect that certain lives have on individuals and communities.

Each of these deaths has taught me a valuable lesson about living. Today, I’d like to share 5 of these lessons with you.

  1. Family means everything

You will find your greatest meaning, strength, and love within the walls of your home. In your family unit, you’ll experience your greatest joys and sorrows. Your greatest fears and love.

The happiest funerals I attended were of those who left behind their family. They leaned on each other for support and with their faith in God and each other, they found joy in their loved one’s life.

  1. You need to learn to serve if you want to be loved

“And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:27)

How often as mothers do we sacrifice our sleep, give ourselves completely to the cause of our family, putting others well above ourselves?

The sacrifices you make will mean more to you in the coming years than you ever thought possible. It’s in service we learn to love, and in being served we learn that we are someone worthwhile.

I often think of an older man, who, until the night he passed, was out visiting the families in his neighborhood. He loved helping young families and would often express his faith and love. He understood completely that love is an act of service and not an idle feeling.

  1. Those who have everything have very little money

In our youth, we often think of big houses, beautiful gardens, and (for my husband) the latest and fastest motorcycle.

I learned from my patients very quickly that if you want everything you can ever dream in life to be truly happy, you can’t focus on money.

To be truly happy means you love your family, you have faith in God, and you are secure in your knowledge that the Father has a plan for you even in your darkest moments.

  1. What you do is more important than what you say

“And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” Luke 2:37

How do you show others you love them?

Do you sit idly by, secure in your knowledge that they know you love them? Or do you spend each day showing them through acts of service and by the words you use?

How we spend our time in this life, what we do with ourselves and the opportunities given to us, determine who we are and who we want to become.

  1. Your faith is a legacy. What kind are you leaving behind?

Faith is more than believing in God, it’s raising and teaching those around you in a way where your faith becomes your message and life.

I often think of one of my patients, who became a very fond friend. She believed in God with so much passion that her faith was her. You knew she knew God and was dear friends with Him.

How many of us can say that the Father is our best friend? That we trust Him completely with our lives even though things are difficult, dark, and depressing?

As you continue to focus on what makes life so special, remember the 5 lessons of living. The seamlessly small choices we make each day become the building blocks of greatness that we leave behind as a testimony of our lives.


  1. Family means everything
  2. You need to learn to serve if you want to be loved
  3. Those who have everything have very little money
  4. What you do is more important than what you say
  5. Your faith is a legacy. What kind are you leaving behind?

Before you leave, share in the comments below which of these 5 lessons meant the most to you.

Micah Klug loves being a mother and helping other women love their home, faith and family by living simply without losing their quality of life or sanity. She writes at www.HomeFaithFamily.com where you can download your free marriage ebook, “Love Again: 100+ Conversation Questions to Strengthen Your Relationship.”

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