An acquaintance’s father passed away a few years ago. He was an adjunct to a Five Star General in WWII and a press officer for IBM. He wrote his obituary and his funeral notice. It was spectacular. Not because it touted all that he had done, but that it was clear and concise. When my uncle died, I got that he was a pilot, but not much else and he did a lot of other things that would have been nice to hear.
It’s because someone else wrote his obituary. And there you have the key.
Write your own eulogy and find out what you want the world to know or not know about you. It’s harder than you think because you only have a short space to get in what are the highlights.
A BIGGER PROJECT
For me, it went to exploring the rest of my life and before I knew it, I’m writing about kindergarten or my 3rd job. No one will ever read it, but I finally found out that things like me being an introvert were there all along. My life would have been a lot easier if I’d have known the things I wrote. Sure, it’s hindsight, but the pattern was there. I wonder why it took me so long to see some things.
I remembered teachers (back to kindergarten), classmates, situations, jobs, life and so much that I couldn’t type fast enough. I knew I’d have to edit and re-edit for details and accuracy, but if I could remember it, I wrote it down. I forget a lot of stuff now anyway.
It fell out on the pages who was loyal or a back stabber to me. What was it that I expected or deliverd to friendships. Who I could count on and who I could count on to try to cause me difficulty or harm (mentally or physically).
I realized who was actually a friend and why, and who was passing through that time of my life, but didn’t remain. As I have said, there are a lot of characters in my autobiography who don’t make it to the end.
Guess what I haven’t finished yet. That’s right, the original project. I got so enthralled with trying to recall memories that sometimes would flood my mind, or that one deep memory that I hadn’t thought about in decades.
I’m going back to it as I need a break. It wasn’t just the writing, but having to re-experience feelings and situations that I’d buried were mentally taxing. I haven’t been blogging much as it has been overwhelming.
Why? You will find out more about yourself than you could imagine. You think you know who you are until you write about your warts and missteps, the awkward things you said that you wish you could take back. Why you react the way you do instead of being more effective, especially when you are protecting your inner self.
I found out who I was and why I act the way I have. I got to re-visit a lot of times in my life. While writing, I put myself back into the 6 or 12 year old to feel those times again the way they were, instead of how my mind changed them over the years. Then, I thought if that moment affected my life later. Most times the answer was yes.
There were times I couldn’t type fast enough and had to keep a separate list of all the things I needed to write about. Conversely, I didn’t want to go back after vomiting up memories, joys and pain, success and failures in my life. I didn’t want to write the pain, but it felt better after having said it.
I’ll keep the eulogy, but delete the life story, no one cares anyway other than me. I won’t care soon either.
I guess I’d better get around to that Eulogy now so the kids don’t screw it up.