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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

17 November 2010: Joan Littlefield, St Marks Shared Church, Bordon

Epitaph

Many years ago when working in a large school, I was asked, "What I had to smile about?" I said something about counting one's blessings, and my cup being half full, not half empty, which somehow led into living each day as if were our last. Strangely, this brought about both amazement and horrified responses. But surely, this is something we all need to consider?

Just the other day a dear friend died very suddenly and this conviction returned all the more strongly. He was a very sincere friend and mentor to so many throughout this life, a humble, caring family man, a widower who died as he lived, serving God and encouraging others. Helping with a service of worship, he preached a thought-provoking sermon, walked back to his seat and breathed his last.

How wonderful for him, worshiping with many friends in a place he loved serving his Lord joyfully to the end, in the way he knew best.

But of course, such a shock to his beloved family and friends in his sudden finality. Food for thought, eh? We have all been recalling shared times and personal events, also chuckling at the many moments his hilarious sense of fun surfaced. That's another thing isn't it? The ability to laugh together, at oneself and the variety of daily happenings as we travel together through life. Such a gift, to do this graciously! So many stories emerge of kindness and caring, of helping folk "find their way" and simply of being there for each one.

The emerging consequence of all this is: what will people's memories of us be? Our families and friends response when our time on earth ends? A sobering thought perhaps, but one we do well to consider, I think you will agree. What will be our epitaph?

Travel hopefully.

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