Death Is In The Air and It Stinks


I’ve been thinking about death lately. Before I get to that, a quick story.

My wife Colette is a hairdresser. A few times she has touched up the hair of the deceased. Well, one time Colette gave a perm to a client. A few days later, the client died.

Colette was called in to refresh her hair for the funeral. When Colette saw the client’s husband, he said, “Bad timing on the perm.” At least he didn’t ask for his money back.

It seems like death is in the air. Yesterday we went to Colette’s uncle’s funeral in Massachusetts. He had been snow blowing his driveway, had a massive heart attack, and died. But that’s not all:

  • On our trip to Massachusetts, we passed a sign for Sandy Hook and Newtown, Connecticut. We had passed this sign so many times before, but now these words mean something to me.
  • On our trip, we heard that my grandma fell and broke her hip. She’s alright, but has to have surgery. It’s risky for an 85 year-old to go under anesthesia. My other grandma had the same thing happen and she never recovered.
  • When I talked to my friend about my grandma, he said his dad died that morning.

Death is in the air and it stinks. None of us escape it. Neither do our loved ones. That might be the harder truth.

However, the good thing about death is its ability to motivate. Death can breathe fresh perspective and reorder priorities. When you know death is coming, it can recharge the way you live.

When we die, we don’t get a do-over. I believe in heaven and hell, but they’re not do-overs. They’re consequences of how we lived in this life, so:

  • Resolve your walk with God now. The Bible says no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ (John 14.6). If you don’t receive Christ in this life, it’ll be too late when you die. (If you want to talk about this, email me at
  • Give your attention to the person in front of you. Be mindful of who you’re with, and be with whomever is in front of you. Put down the electronic device and talk.
  • Show your loved ones that you love them. In writing class, the teacher emphasized, “Show not tell.” Don’t just tell the reader something—show them. So with your loved ones, don’t just tell them you love them, show them. And do it often.
  • Find your passions and pursue them. Discover what you’re good at, what you love to do, and what makes the world a better place. Then go after it. Life is too short for passionless living.
  • Practice forgiveness. Regret and bitterness are heavy burdens to carry through life, but they’re heavier after the grave. Give the gift of forgiveness while you still can.

While I’m still living, I want to live like that. How about you?

How do you want to be remembered? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Chris Heinz is the Founder and CEO of Munyay, which creates coaching tools to help you love your life and work. He's also the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc. and is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation, a Certified Professional Life Coach, and a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach. Chris enjoys coaching people, writing, and speaking on the topics of engagement, coaching, and strengths. He blogs often at

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *