My perspective is that of a regular meditator, who has taken sutta classes and who has a respectful agnosticism to the Pali Canon.
A few weeks ago my father came very close to dying and within a few days of that a friend of mine did die. Last spring another friend of mine died.
The sutta quotes I keep thinking of and that I might want read at my own funeral (assuming people would understand them ) would come from the Buddha's own death.
The first being his last words, which roughly paraphrase as
"All compounded things are impermanent, study and train in the dhamma hard".
The other quote comes from a sutta in the long discourses describing the aftermath of the Buddha's death.
While the Buddha's senior students are calm and somber, his less senior students are freaking out from grief. Finally, one of the senior students says roughly
"(WTF?) Why the reaction? You've been taught that all compounded things are impermanent"
You don't have to be a serious believer for these snippets to have meaning. Time passes by very fast after a certain point in life and we all trains on the same track, headed to the same place.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.