funerals are often much more of an “oy vey” experience than an “oh wow”
experience. Not the one I went to a few
weeks ago. The funeral was for a good
friend’s father, Lou. He died at 93.
Until two years earlier he drove himself to work 45 minutes from home. I grew up living a couple of houses down from
this family and knew them well.
Lou was a
diminutive man. But he lived large, projected a huge presence, and there were
always stories circulating about his large life. It was not necessarily a life that would
inspire Sunday school lessons. For example, there was the one about him
breaking the bank at a Caribbean casino. Stories like that. He was, as they
said, a “character.”
funeral the stories were recounted by family and friends. The audience (yes, audience is a better term
than mourners) laughed and, I believe, marveled at this man’s life and the
memories he left with those who loved him.
Some of the attendees looked around, uncomfortably, probably
unaccustomed to the tone of the event.
But the stories were funny. He was, indeed, the starring character in
the stories of a memorable life.
were also inspiring because of how people responded to them. Not that I would
necessarily want to lead this man’s life but the stories made me wonder about
the stories I might leave behind. What will they be? How might they impact those
telling them and those hearing them?
The time to think about this is now. Some of your
stories have happened and many, if not most, are waiting to happen. You create
them. Write your eulogy now and live that life. Be a character. (Other Thoughts and Essays)
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