Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

If you wrote your own eulogy, what would you say?

12 Comments

A page will turn on the calendar tomorrow and the number in my age will turn one year more.

For as long as I can remember, my birthday has been my time to celebrate.

And I’m not shy about it.

I love birthdays.

A birthday reminds us all to celebrate our own lives. To acknowledge the gifts we’ve received, and the gifts we bring to the world.

Long ago, I took a course where one of the exercises was to write an eulogy for yourself.

I struggled with it.

What did I want people to say about me at my funeral?

As I’ve become my older self, the closeness of an eulogy becomes more clear. So does its purpose.

When in that course, I recall focussing on the things I’d done in the world. My accomplishments. My deeds. As I was taking the course in my early 40s and I expected to live well into my 80s, there were lots of things I thought I’d have done by the time I died.

Some of the things I’d imagined I never even began. Like getting a Ph.D. Hasn’t happened. Yet.

Like being a NYT’s best-selling author. Hasn’t happened. Yet.

Writing my eulogy today is much easier. Whether or not I’ve done all those things yet, it’s up to me to decide how important they are to me. And choose my next steps accordingly. Whatever I choose to do, it’s not about ‘the what’. It’s about who and how I am in the world today.

It’s about how I treat people. How I make them feel. Who I am in good and not so good times.

I want people to remember me as Caring. Passionate. Compassionate. Creative. Kind. I want them to feel a warm fissure of joy when they think of me. To feel like they mattered to me. That I celebrated their human magnificence, their beauty, their heart.

“As we mature, we must engage with what our own mortality means for us, knowing that we one day enter what I call the Great Unknowing. The season of winter helps us to practice for this.”
.— Christine Valters Paintner, PhD

In this deep winter chill that has settled on our city, I step with loving heart and open mind into the limitless awe of the Great Unknowing. In our intricate dance of life and death, I expose my fears and tears, my joys and laughter. In that liminal space where light shines endless into the deepness of the mystery of the dark, I become the woman I have always been. In that space, my eulogy is not a monument to my life, it is a living reflection of the woman I am today when I live my life in the fires of creativity, fearlessly expressing the best of me so that instead of fearing the worst of me being exposed, I rest in peace every day, knowing that whatever happens next, I have nothing to fear.

**************************************************

There are all sorts of resources on google to help you write your own eulogy — no matter your age. In fact, writing your eulogy in every decade is a powerful exercise. It can serve as a wake-up call, a reminder of time passing, a poke to ‘get at ‘er’. It’s not about beating yourself up — it’s about reflecting on how you want to live your life, what you want to fill your precious time with, and how you celebrate the best of you, everyday.

Some of the questions asked to ignite thinking around your eulogy are,

“How do you want people to remember you?” Not ‘what for’. ‘How.’

“How do you want people to feel about you when they are celebrating your life after the ceremony?”

 

An interesting article I found through Google with the search term “writing your own eulogy” is here.

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

12 thoughts on “If you wrote your own eulogy, what would you say?

  1. I remember you, Louise, in all the ways you wish to be remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. happy almost birthday – I enjoyed this bit.

    I read obituaries and often find they read like resumes rather than as descriptive portraits of who someone was, and why they was!

    My first DRAFT:

    ‘dandelion spirit’ who proved the deepest hole could not sink her, she danced in the sunshine and spread light in dark places, she lifted people, she brought people together and she always pointed the light at them, on them and for them – while encouraging everyone around her – including herself – to stretch, to grow, to flourish … just like that dandelion growing impossibly out of nowhere with nothing but still stretching to the sky. Stumbled and bumbled and failed in life but never ‘at life’, she advanced ‘their cause’, not ‘her cause’, she spoke up for those who couldn’t speak, she wrote for those who couldn’t write and she felt for those who had lost their feeling or lost their way. She was a warm coat called heart you could wrap yourself in on a summer’s day or the coldest winter’s night and she survived and thrived and gave inspiration to everyone she touched.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark, thank you.

      Your words are the best birthday gift I could ever imagine!

      thank you.

      tears flow as I read them and my heart is grateful.

      L

      Like

      • oh my … and that just my first draft! Obviously there is much more to say and many ways to say it – and 30 years or more from now it will be someone’s job to write something because it is obvious to all who know you that you’re not done – and perhaps you’ve just begun (cue the Carpenters) … she’s only just begun! … many many happy birthdays ahead

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Something to think about for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Louise 🎉💝🎂
    What a lovely post, and reminder for us to keep impacting others with our passion, creativity, compassions and an open heart.
    You are so Sagittarius (as am I!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An early happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thoughts about eulogies are fresh in my mind with Nan’s funeral only being a few weeks ago, I felt more could have been said about her life and yes I did think ” I wonder what they will say about me” but could I write my own eulogy I don’t think I could I have no idea what I would say.

    Like

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