What I Learned at the Funeral of a 23 Year Old

This morning I joined some 300 friends and family to celebrate the life of Megan Twist.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Megan. What I learned about her today was beautiful, inspiring, and heartbreaking.

  • She was beautiful because she loved people well.
  • She was inspiring because she let people feel free to be themselves.
  • Her story is heartbreaking because I can’t help but wonder how many more people she could have blessed.

Several people mentioned how funny she was. She loved to crack jokes. She was always making sure people had fun. She enjoyed pranking her dad. She made the most of life, and it was infectious.

Megan’s high school English teacher really was English. When Megan discovered this, she asked her teacher, “Have you ever been to Liverpool? Which Beatle is your favorite? What Beatles songs do you like best?”

To please Megan, she studied the Beatles since, as she confessed, she didn’t know much about them. Years later, Megan visited Liverpool, took the Beatles tour, and shared her experience with her teacher.

Megan loved people. She was everywhere — ball games, parties, church — wherever her friends were. She’d sit up with them and talk halfway into the night about anything and everything. She was intentional about friendship — and there were over 300 of them to honor her at her funeral.

Like anyone else, I wonder why this happened. Megan’s brother-in-law said that while they prayed for a miracle, it turned out that Megan was the miracle. She became an organ donor, signing up just months before her death. Five people now have better lives because of her generosity.

My former pastor brought a message of hope. As a counselor for three decades, he discovered people never fully recover from the loss of a loved one. It’s human nature to ask, “Why did this happen?” It’s better, he said, to focus on, “What do I do now?”

Jesus died young, too. He lived to the ripe old age of 33. Like Megan, he loved others unconditionally. He went to parties. He set people free to be themselves. His death gave life to others.

What can we learn from Megan’s life?

  • You have something to share with the world. Honor God by using your talents to the utmost every day.
  • You have no promise you’ll live tomorrow. Don’t put off your dreams, your goals, or your self-improvement projects. Act now to make your mark. Make the most of life while you may, for you aren’t guaranteed another day.
  • Be intentional about your relationships. Get to know someone today. Make someone feel good while you’re with them. Friendships are forged with years of individual encounters.

Thank you, Megan, for the life you lived. Though I didn’t get to meet you, your legacy has enriched me forever. Rest in peace. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven.

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Originally published at www.frankmckinleyauthor.com on December 4, 2016.