Lessons from Another Funeral

Two days ago I attended a memorial service and reception for Jeffrey Lester; Jeff died two months after being diagnosed with cancer. I have attended many funerals and memorials during the last several years. His memorial service seemed more uplifting. It reflected a life lived fully.

When I left town, I turned on the radio. The first song was an old Tim McGraw favorite, “Live Like You Were Dying.”

Sometimes I find the song a little silly. Another time I pulled over to the side of the road, because it has not been safe to drive with tears in my eyes. Yesterday, I drove with a smile as I heard the lines,

I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime


I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have

And I sang along with the lines

And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”

Then I turned off the radio and drove.


When I arrived home, I opened photos from Tim McGraw’s Southern Voice Tour. I photographed the concert after attending with my little son Mason.  Mason had just turned 4 when we attended the concert. We had pretty good seats through the Tim McGraw Fan Club though we were not this close.

I love these concert photos, because of the fans’ reactions. Even the folks who might be in their early forties are living as if this could be their last concert and the younger fans are living as if this was their first.

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2 Responses to “Lessons from Another Funeral”

  1. Kelly Verni says:

    Tim is awesome and so is that song, it came out the same year my husband was diagnosed with cancer. He’s been battling it for nine years now and although not cancer free, I sometimes feel the song was meant for him because he lives his life as if it were his last day everyday. My daughters and I are the three woman in black in the top photo. Funny how I came across this page and also another page that had several pictures of the three of us three years ago and two days after seeing Tim again at the same venue.

    • bryan farley says:


      Thank you for finding me. Tim McGraw is special for my family too. I took my son to see him for his first concert two weeks after he turned four. He remembers it often. I photographed the Shoreline concert a week after I took him to see the show in Fresno.

      I also wrote about the Shoreline concert a few times, including this post on my old blog.

      If you would like to be able to share and/ or post some of the Tim McGraw photos that include your family, I can post on my photography facebook site and you can tag. I can also share links. What do you think?

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