So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash… would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent YOUR dash?
(poem by Linda Ellis)
When my time comes to move on from this world I often wonder if my absence will be felt. Oh I know my immediate family will miss me – it’s fairly obvious that when you are a part of someone’s daily life your absence will be noticed and quite possibly mourned. But how will I be remembered by my neighbors, the community, people that I have had contact with for work through the years… will I be remembered for the times I volunteered in different organizations, or for the works I’ve written as a writer?
Will I be remembered at all? After I’ve been lowered into the ground will anyone even think of me; will anyone feel grateful that they ever knew me; will I have made a difference in anyone’s life? A personal fear that I have always had (sssh, I’m telling you this in confidence…) is that after I am gone, I will have just taken up space on this planet and that this world will be no better or worse for my having been here.
Like most of us I dabble now and then on social media sites and I’ve enjoyed indulging my need for nostalgia by being a part of groups like school alumni or neighborhood crowds from my childhood. I am always amazed and pleasantly surprised when I’m remembered by someone from my past that I lost touch with long ago. Somehow I must have been more than just body taking up space and I am encouraged.
Some people are encouraging the idea of “Living Eulogies”, speeches others would say about a life while the person is still around (on this earth) to hear. Sometimes referred to as “The Dash” these speeches talk about the things that dash represents, everything that went on between the birth date and the date of death. What contributions did the subject make to the world around him? How did she impact the lives of the people she knew. A Living Eulogy can be a tribute for an elderly family member, a way of showing appreciation at a milestone event, or even for some who wants a preview of what will be said eventually.
Would I want to hear my eulogy while I could sit there and critique it? Would the eulogy be truly something that would be said at my funeral with just the good stuff — or would it be honest and spoken by folks who truly know me and would I really want to hear the truth? My mother always said not to speak ill of the dead; I can’t help but think of the joke where a Rabbi was delivering a eulogy for a man and his widow turned to her son and asked him to check to make sure it really was his father in the casket.
Hopefully when my time comes there will be good things to be said by people who will even remember my name.