Think about the days following your death. What emotions, what reactions, what conversations would you hope would take place? The Phantom shows Scrooge several scenes that deal with the death of an unknown man and the emotions, reactions, and conversations that ensue.
The first scene that the Phantom shows is a group of men discussing the funeral of this man. How would you feel if some folks gathered in town and discussed whether or not they really wanted to attend your funeral? And what if the deciding factor for at least one of them was whether or not they were serving food? The what-am-I-going-to-get-out-of-it mentality was alive and well on the streets of London that day.
What would lead to this attitude toward the dead man? Could it be that perhaps this man lived a what-am-I-going-to-get-out-of-it life? Up to this point the Spirits have been showing Scrooge what life is actually like, how day-to-day actions affect real people and situations. Scrooge has seen a real glimpse of happiness outside the control of money. He has also seen the real effects of a life that is in want.
But now the Spirit shifts the camera angle just a bit. Scrooge sees the opinions of a group of people who knew a man that we are led to believe was tight-fisted—like Scrooge—and had few friends—like Scrooge. This man’s actions in life determined others’ reactions upon his death. And we will see in the coming pages that many people reacted to this death.
How do you want people to react to your death? What kind of funeral might you imagine for yourself? Have you ever been to a funeral that was a celebration? Ever been to a funeral that was standing room only? Why was it that way?
Whether we want to believe it or not, our day to day actions are preparations for our own funeral. We sow the seeds for a harvest of reactions to our death. Are you sowing weeds or flowers?