I have been contemplating my demise. Actually, I do it all the time. My professor told me to do it.
I guess I should clarify. I really have no intention of dying, at least not any time soon. (Insert sign of the cross, knock on wood, etc.) But most of us feel that way. Unless we know it is inevitable, and someday it will be, we try not to think about it. That's why this exercise is so weird, I admit. But if you are working on those parts of yourself that need work (or healing), this a good exercise.
Lie on your back, in a quiet room, cross your hands over your chest and pretend you are dead. Everything is over. Relax, and clear your mind. Then envision yourself at your funeral. What are the people walking by saying?
The idea behind this exercise is not to be hard on yourself - and it's not a popularity contest - it doesn't matter how many people are at your funeral. If you don't have many people in your life, then use the people you come in contact with. Be totally honest with what you might be hearing. Were you a kind person? Happy? Sad? Honest? Charitable? Are people saying how much they will miss you? That your generosity of spirit will be missed? Are people saying that it is sad you are gone, but you really weren't a very good person. You were successful, but at the expense of others. Anyway, this is your funeral - you get to pick the conversations.
The point is to really look at where you are in your life. And maybe where you want to go for the rest of it. The impact that we have on others is very real and far-reaching. It's rippling effect is powerful.
We only get one shot at living. There isn't a second act. So be the person you want to be remembered for being. A life well lived.