A Visit to the Funeral Home

geisel homeThis week we visited Geisel’s Funeral Home to make all my final plans. The fierce hope decision to go ahead with this wasn’t connected to any specific health changes. But for anyone facing a terminal diagnosis, it makes sense to get these plans taken care of now while I still can.

I also saw my decision to do this as a gift to Amy. The last thing I want to do is stick her with a ton of decisions on the worst day of her life. I figured if I could get all of these details set up, we could finally stop focusing on my death and start focusing on living. After my talk with hospice, this was the last meeting like this I needed to have.

I was so pleased with how it went. The person we worked with, Sharon Jacobs, was just amazing. The way she handled my unique situation was first class. It was liberating to get things all set up. She displayed grace and understanding throughout our entire visit.

I must admit however, going to a funeral home and setting up your own arrangements puts you in a very introspective place. My goal was to set up a celebration of my life. I was determined that it wouldn’t be a big, dark, depressing affair. I have lived such an incredibly full life.

I have truly lived. In some ways, I have lived more in any one year than some folks have lived in entire lifetimes. I’ve never been afraid to embrace life. Even during this final chapter, I don’t want to miss a thing. Not one detail will be overlooked. Life is so rich for me right now. I am seeing the world in high-definition and full dynamic range. I am walking everyday. I stand in parks with my arms out wide. I look up and thank God for the clouds. Every cell in my body wants to soak up living while I can.

In fact, I want to recommend a great life-testing technique I read about several years ago. Sit down and write your own obituary. Don’t write it for today. Write it for 30 or 50 years from today. Fill it full of all the incredible things you still plan to do in life. It can serve as a powerful roadmap to follow your heart and dreams!

With Fierce Hope,


FullSizeRenderPS: Special thanks to all of you who have been sharing my latest posts on Facebook and twitter. It’s really helped this blog reach a massive readership. (almost 2000 subscribers in just a few months).

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5 Thoughts on “A Visit to the Funeral Home

  1. Jill Garner on March 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm said:

    I had a hard enough time setting up my Will, which I did before my hip replacement surgery, just because you never know what may happen during surgery. But now I will consider writing my Obituary even though I have told hubby and kids that I just want to be cremated and put in a Mason Jar in the closet and then into Bruce’s casket when he dies. He has major longevity in his family, they all live into their nineties and 100s. Everyone important in my life knows where my loves and passions lie.
    God Bless you and Amy and the rest of your family as you do this planning. I see His presence in your life. I hope that this gives you all some sort of peace.

  2. Hi Jim,
    My husband Jim and I ,are very good friends of Jack and Shirley they went to HS
    Together. I feel I know you thru reading all your post, I had cry,laugh and love all
    your letters. You had teach all of us thru your post, that you can not give up ,
    Just live everyday to the fullest like it maybe the last…
    I pray for you ,your wife Amy and your darling girls!
    Sincerely, maya
    Ps publish a book with your posts, I will buy them

  3. Marie Frable on March 19, 2015 at 12:51 am said:

    God Bless you Jim. We all put off the inevitable. It takes a lot to do what you did. Completely understand and mostly yes for Amy. Keep fierce!!!

  4. Carolyn Phillips on March 19, 2015 at 5:57 am said:

    What a gift, Jim! Thanks for the advice too. When I did hospice volunteer work, part of our orientation was a guided meditation through your own death, from diagnosis to envisioning the actual transition, and all the decisions in between. Powerful!

  5. shelley on March 19, 2015 at 10:53 am said:

    Again, Jim…. beautiful. My heart is filled with gratitude for you blogs and words of wisdom….reminders to celebrate life in every precious moment.

    So much love to you, Amy and the girls.

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