If there is one thing I know about in life, it’s death.
I have been working at funeral homes since I was a teenager. I’m a licensed funeral director and embalmer. I’ve seen death at its most heartbreaking and I’ve seen death be a beautiful thing. I’ve seen a lot in the almost 18 years I’ve been working in the death industry, but there is one thing that never fails to surprise me.
Most people are not prepared to die.
Now, obviously, most people don’t want their end to come for a very long time, but I’m not talking about that. What I want to discuss is how few people are prepared to die.
Many people have no plan in place to deal with a death in their immediate family. They have no financial means to cover major expenses if the main breadwinner dies. There are no arrangements made for a funeral and burial. They are not prepared emotionally to cope with losing someone they love.
Most people simply refuse to talk about death. Then when death does come, they’re caught completely off guard and unprepared to deal with it emotionally, financially, and spiritually.
If death came for you tomorrow, are you ready?
It’s our job as men to be prepared. It’s our responsibility to plan for the worst. We are the providers and protectors of our families. There must be a plan in place if we are no longer capable of being that leader.
We have to ask ourselves these tough questions and talk about these challenging issues if we are going to be the type of leaders our families need.
Do you have a plan to provide for your family if something happened to you?
As a man, it’s your responsibility to provide for your family, even if you are in the grave. You must have a plan in place to provide and care for those you leave behind.
I know it’s not easy but sit down with your wife and discuss what decisions and arrangements you can make in case the worst were to happen.
Purchase a life insurance policy. It absolutely amazes me how few people own life insurance policies. Then when someone dies, not only do they have to deal with the grief, they have to worry about how to pay bills and cover basic living expenses, let alone the cost of a funeral. You can get term life insurance very inexpensively.
Make sure you have a will, a living will, and power of attorney. You need to prepare for what happens to everything you own if you were to die. Also, you need to have a plan in place if you are incapacitated. What if you aren’t killed but terribly injured and unable to work?
Get your finances in order. Don’t leave your family with thousands of dollars of debt when you die. Take the steps you need to take now to ensure your financial situation is not a disaster if something were to happen to you. This is just good life advice as well as death advice. Get out of needless debt, keep good records of bank accounts and investments, and make sure your wife knows how to handle your finances. Too many men handle 100% of the finances and if they die, their wife won’t even know how to pay the phone bill.
Plan your own funeral. Many people I meet with pre-plan and even pre-pay for their own funerals. There is a great financial benefit to doing so. But the most important thing is to let your family know what your wishes are if you were to pass away. Do you want to be buried or cremated? Are there cemetery plots? What kind of funeral or memorial service do you want? So many families are left guessing when someone dies, and they have no idea what they would have wanted.
These are all things you can do to make sure your family is cared for in the event of your death.
Have you lived a life you want to be remembered for?
If you were to meet your end, what would people say about you? Would they say you lived a good life, were a good father and husband and left the world a better place than when you entered it? Or would they say something a little less flattering?
I work way too many funerals in which the only thing people remember about the life of a person is that they were a huge fan of a football team or they loved fishing.
Be remembered for something more. Leave a legacy. Make a difference. Instill the values you hold dear into your children, or they will die with you.
What changes can you make in your life in order to leave an impression long after you’re gone?
Think about what people would say about you at your funeral. What qualities about you would be written in your obituary?
In fact, I challenge you to write your own obituary. Then post it somewhere where you’ll see it often. Use it as a reminder to live a life that will be remembered. Allow it to push you to be better.
Are you ready to meet your maker?
We’ve talked about how to be prepared for death, but are you prepared for what comes after death?
Do you have your spiritual life in order? Do you know where you’ll spend eternity?
Get things right between you and God. When was the last time you read the Bible? Have you been to church on a Sunday that wasn’t Easter or Christmas?
There are only two options for your soul after it leaves this earth. Which path will you take?
We all deserve the path of eternal damnation. We are born sinners. But Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we might spend eternity with Him.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
The only way to be truly prepared for death is to be prepared for eternal life.
Every man should be prepared to face death. By being ready to die allows us to face life with determination and purpose. We don’t need to worry whether we live a long life or if today is our last day because we’re ready.
As the Boy Scouts motto says, “Be Prepared.”
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