Writing Your Own Memorial

July 17, 2014

Let’s, for a moment, imagine you met an untimely death and you were watching the people who had come to your funeral to pay their respects. You look around and you spot Aunt Flossie and Uncle Henry. They never really liked you any more than you liked them so why are they here? Oh, probably to see and be seen, a sense of obligation. They wouldn’t want anyone to think poorly of them if they didn’t trot out their black clothing and carry handkerchiefs to wipe away their crocodile tears.

How many of these mourners really knew you? Do they even care that you’re no longer around? And, even more important, how well did you know them, and were they a significant part of your life?

Then you listen to the eulogy being delivered and you realize that this person had never met you. Why is he delivering your eulogy? If only you had made your own arrangements to have someone who knew you well, deliver your eulogy. And that brings us to the question: Is it too early to write your own memorial?

I guess the answer to that question would lie in whether you really care how you’ll be remembered. So, if you would care how people remember you, it makes sense to write your own eulogy long before the need arises. And, let’s face it. Unless you were a monster, no one would have the nerve to stand up at your funeral and shout “that’s bullshit.” They would sit there like well-behaved puppets, nodding their heads in agreement.

If you write your own eulogy you have different options. You can recount your accomplishments, tell some humorous or heart-tugging stories about yourself; you can reveal parts of yourself that you’ve kept hidden, or you can make yourself bigger than life. The fact is that no one knows you better than you know yourself, so you can be anything in your own memorial.

But, best of all, you can look at what you’ve written and if you like the things you’ve said about yourself, you still have time to become that wonderful person.

2 Responses to “Writing Your Own Memorial”

  1. Nicole Jordan says:

    What an excellent article Connie. I loved your last sentence about becoming the person you’d like to be while you are still alive.

    • Connie H. Deutsch says:

      Thank you for your lovely feedback. It’s never too late to look at who you are, and try to be more of the kind of person you would like to be. It just takes awareness and commitment to try to change old habit patterns.

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