A Fundamental Purpose

Why this car is automatic
It’s systematic
It’s hydromatic
Why it’s grease lightning!
“Greased Lightning” – From the movie “Grease”

My stepbrother recently posted a picture of his new car, a flashy little German model designed to take you down the road with the poise, power, grace and handling necessary to outrun the devil himself, should you find yourself in that predicament. I responded with a photo of my little runabout, a 20 year old Asian import sold under a domestic brand and designed to get you from point A to point B for the cheapest possible cost and the security of knowing even the devil would pity you for driving it. Needless to say, with both of us being “car guys”, we shared a good laugh.

This little exchange highlights a very key element that all of us deal with on a daily basis, the definition of and perception of “value”. What is it, what makes something valuable to someone but not to another, and why is it so important to each of us?

Value is a truly unique element because the definition of it varies within each of us. Using my car example, it is safe to say that both cars are four wheels and an engine. Both get you from point A to point B. So why are there so many different kinds of cars then? The answer is not in the purpose, but rather, in how we get there. We put value on different elements which explains why there are so many different types of cars on the road.

Funerals are much like this. There is a fundamental purpose to funerals which is to take the person from where they died to their ultimate place of disposition. How we go about this process, however, explains why there are so many different “celebrations of life”, “memorial services”, “traditional services”, “direct cremations”, etc.

Unlike a car, however, a death is a “once in a lifetime” event. You only get one chance to put the value you deserve into the process, and unlike a life event like a wedding that can take years to plan, you get just days to set it up. For me, value is not about a retail experience, package services, big fancy buildings or fleets of black cars. It is about a personal touch with the ability to truly make a “once in a lifetime” event something you can look back on and say “that was exactly what I wanted”.



Value is something I encourage you today to look at in your own life. Pay attention to those things you value, spend time with the people you value, and make every day one to live, laugh and love.