“Living Funeral/Celebration of Life”

Appreciating our friends before we depart

By Goldie Chong

How it started

We’ve known Fan Ngian and Sian Li Yoong since they were students in Melaka. We’ve kept up our friendship through the years mainly because of our mutual interest in marriage and family.  We’ve invited them to Perth to hold their courses and they have invited us to give our courses in Malaysia. Very often when we go to Petaling Jaya we stay with them and it’s always stimulating to exchange the latest ideas and adventures with them. On 3 Oct. they organized a pot-bless dinner of old friends – some we haven’t seen in months or years. We had a wonderful time reminiscing about memories of serving God together, one of which was their enjoying hospitality in our home. Sian Li recalled that we gave them just one premarital lesson the day before their wedding advising them, “don’t be stressed about unexpected guests turning up for dinner – just add more water to the soup!” Many of those present testified they were now opening their own homes. 

Sian Li & Fan Ngian bought the best durian birthday cake

Living funeral

It turned out that the gathering was also a surprise birthday celebration for Tek. We shared with them the term “living funeral”, an interesting concept which we got from a movie called “The Weatherman” in which when the man knew he was dying of cancer, invited his friends who would certainly attend his funeral to a party where they gave their eulogies. He told them it was much better for them to say these good things while he was still alive to hear them rather than be oblivious lying in a coffin.  This is also the reason why we take every opportunity to meet up with old friends – to express our love and appreciation to them before we die.  Because of Tek’s birthday this year, several friends have organized gatherings very similar to this where old friends reminisce about the good old days….  We are therefore suggesting for more people to consider organizing similar “Celebration of Life” or whatever you may choose to call it  but the purpose is to have an excuse to gather your old friends, especially those who you have lost touch with. It is an excellent opportunity re-connect and to share testimonies of God’s goodness. end48

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