My Eulogy

I’m pretty Death-Positive. This doesn’t mean that I think everyone should die or hail satan, and all that jazz. I’m just aware of my mortality, and my death positivity follows some fantastic bold statements that can be found over at The Order of the Good Death.

One of the most important statements of death positivity for me is number 7. My friends and family know my wishes and I should have the necessary documentation to back those wishes up. I’ve been pretty open about what I want out of life, and certainly pretty upfront about what I want in death. It’s even on my company bio for all staff and students to see:

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-14,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E:Y
When I grow up… EVERYTHING DEATH POSITIVE!

So, I think about death a lot. Some people find it morbid, some terrifying, and others will happily engage in a conversation with me calmly and rationally. After all, death is important and something we all face eventually. But something I never really think about is what I want said at my funeral. I mean, I’ll be dead. What do I care? But in life, I think a lot about the mark I want to leave on the world. The change I can create and the legacy I leave behind for those that knew me and those that come after me.

I want my eulogy to reflect the life I had. The good, the bad, the strange. I want to live a life that leaves a mark on people for years after my death. I want to live a life that betters not only the people around me, but the earth as well; And while that seems wishy-washy to me (as I tend to subscribe to an Optimistic Nihilism) I still think that when you focus in on a single life, it matters. Sure, everything may end, but for now we’re here, and for now we may as well make the world a little nicer to live in.

I want my eulogy to be an accurate representation of the fact that I tried. So, I try to be kind. I try to minimise hurt and suffering. I try not to be a dick, and I try to mitigate the damage other people are doing. What do you want your eulogy to reflect?

Stay silly folk xx

 


5 thoughts on “My Eulogy

  1. I’ve given four eulogies in my life. Much like the wake or funeral, it really isn’t about the dead person. You’re dead, so it doesn’t really matter what you think. History is written by the victors, or at least those who are still breathing. I’ve found a good eulogy isn’t a lifetime achievement award acceptance speech given in absentia…it’s a short speech, 5-10 minutes, that needs to be more stand-up comedy than dark drama. Nobody wants to hear “she tried”. They want to hear a funny story that you fell on your face, but then picked yourself up. If you really want to write your eulogy, just do what I did and write a memoir. Then you can dictate the narrative. For years, when I worked in newspapers, I (like many) kept their obituary updated regularly, but again, it just ends up reading like a self-congratulatory resume. Be genuine, be kind and whoever ends up giving your eulogy will do you justice. You don’t control your legacy, that’s what makes it special. Don’t micromanage your funeral from beyond because they’re going to do what they want anyway. When it comes to my eulogy, I’ve decided I don’t care because I can’t care once it’s read. I’m dead. I’ll never know the difference.

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    1. I’ve given far to many eulogies for my liking as well, and I don’t think I’ve ever given a serious one. They’ve all been stories, stupid things we got up to together or seriously embarrassing things they’d have murdered me for had they been able to crawl out of the grave. My true hope is that my friends and family know I want them to celebrate my death, rather than mourn. My theory about funerals is the same as it is weddings; They’re not for the people being celebrated – it’s about everyone else who has to sit there and eat the cake and be left behind. I guess the title should be “My Legacy” more than my eulogy.
      It’s fascinating that people keep their obituaries up to date… What was that like? What’s the thought process behind that? I can barely think of anything I’d believe anyone would have said about me other than “She was a bit funny sometimes, but jeez she could be a right cunt when she was mad”… Doesn’t really make a great Obit…or does it?

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  2. You know what, I think about this very often myself, and no one wants to hear me out! It’s inevitable, we have to talk about it, our wishes etc. how are those we leave behind going to keep OUR legacy alive ?! Especially if we don’t have children, spouses, or much family…I always want to be remembered as someone who made you laugh, we had inside jokes, she was tough she went through a lot but over came it all…

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    1. It’s hard when people don’t want to engage in the conversation, but that’s fine. Mortality is scary for some people. I think it’s great that you think about it. I find that when I think about the message that I’ll leave behind, my legacy, I find ways to change who I am and the actions I take in my day to day life. It makes me reflect on how I interact with the world around me, and it’s a really hard, but positive thing to do.
      I think being thought of as funny, tough and resilient are all great things. Like I said earlier in the post, we’ll be dead, it doesn’t matter to us, but the mark we leave DOES matter to those we leave behind.

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      1. I absolutely agree! I have been more aware of this since my brother unexpectedly died almost five years ago. He was born with a congenital heart defect and died at eighteen years old. But the legacy he left and the impact he made on people…I wish I could be even a fraction of what he was…So many people had so many great things to say about him and he is still so very missed. This is when I began to get even more morbid in my way of thinking and worrying about my own legacy. I have recently been writing a lot and have many pieces from when my brother passed away that I hope someone will find one day and will understand me better…I don’t know…sometimes we tend to think we will be outside of our bodies watching the funeral to see if anyone really cared or not, who knows that may be true, regardless I do want to leave an impact on the world or those in my own world. I sure hope I will.

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