“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.” ~Harold Kushner
I was recently discussing the difference between funerals back home and funerals on this side (UK/Europe), from the dressing up to the hymns, music, wake and repast, most if not all countries pale in comparison to those of Caribbean/West Indian. We a love a good funeral, the bigger the better. More music, more dressing up and the bigger the feast. One common ground shared between cultures though is that no one speaks ill of the dead. Maybe it’s superstition, maybe it’s our of respect friends and family will remember the good times, burying the bad long before you hit the ground.
Why is it that we have so much respect for the dead but not the living? I’ve attended funerals where the person was given a eulogy fit for the Saints despite them being the most ill mannered person in town. I remember my grandfather asking a friend of his who was an alcoholic why he had such a temperamental demeanour. His friend replied, “even the drunk will see the gates of heaven because they will sing me through those gates in hymns and confirm my seat near the throne with sweet words of remembrance.”
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~Viktor E. Frankl
I was about 17 but the words sparked a sense of curiosity in me so much so that have impressed in my mind til today because he was right. No one likes to think about death, it makes us too aware of our mortality; so we walk through life as if we will live forever. Some people cling to misery as if their life depended on it, clutching bitterness to their bosoms and building a lasting friendship with jealousy. They wear envy like a badge of honour and run through time like it grew on trees. They criticise the doers while indulging in their own procrastination with the excuse that they’re waiting for the opportune time to make their move.
“There are no perfect moments but you can make every moment perfect.”
Looking back on your life from where you stand now. What would your eulogy be? How would people remember you? Would you receive a eulogy fit for the saints? What would be your legacy? These questions may be a bit uncomfortable for some to answer. My intention is not to get you thinking about death or running out to write your will but rather they’re to make you reflect on your life. You should be living your eulogy. Living a life that would make people’s faces light up when they tell your story, a life that would make others want to walk in your footsteps.
Are you there yet? Are you that person? Is your life as awesome as the memories people will have of you?
©Etta D. Richards