It seems to me that eulogies should not be wasted on funerals; they should be delivered while we are still alive, well and clickin’. I gave my very first one this month, and it got me thinking.
If someone delivered a eulogy about me, what would I want the person to say? There’s a scary thought - one that should be savored on the throne, on top of a mountain or looking up at a rainbow. If you have never thought about this, please know it’s not a topic for the feint of heart. (Check blood pressure and heart rate before starting this process.)
When we think about this question, it begs others such as: what is my life’s purpose? what have I accomplished? do I want people to remember me for what I did or for who I am? am I someone worth remembering? have I done enough to earn praise? will the people listening see through the good stuff and be saying to themselves, “Yeah but, remember when she . . . ?”
I have given this some thought, and here’s what I’m hoping they will say about me:
- She was always “up”
- She was kind to everyone
- She was selfless
- She accomplished all she set out to do
- She loved her family and friends
- She was generous to a fault
- She contributed to society
- Her spirit inspired others
- She touched lives
- Her children will carry on her positive mission
- She will leave a hole in the world
Well, looking at the list, I am two for eleven. I think the problem with eulogies is that everything is in the superlative. For example, who is always up? “Always” is not realistic. I don’t care how damned good-natured you are, there will be some times that you are just downright mean and ornery. So “always” wreaks of hyperbole.
Everyone “contributes to society.” The question is what did the person contribute, and who cares? Did he contribute by putting out his trash everyday or inventing the non-skid stiletto?
What’s “generous?” Is it the guy that buys a round of drinks at the bar? Is it the person who contributes $10,000 a year to charity but can’t afford to send his kid to college? Is it the person who is always there when you need him?
If a person accomplishes all she set out to do, maybe her “to do” list had only three things on it: wash hair, make bed, clean up dog poo.
The biggest question is: Who decides that the person has accomplished all these things? The person writing the eulogy? The person’s kids? The Big Guy? If it’s the latter, how did they get a hold of Him? Is He partial to Apple (as it did cause some problems way back when)? Food for thought.