Friday, November 19, 2010

Write Your Own Epitaph?

William H Hahn Jr. - I told you I was sick

A friend of mine recently mentioned in passing that she had a health issue that made her and her sister joke about how her obituary should read. What’s next is a couple funny ones I found :

Here lies the body

Of Margaret Bent

She kicked up her heels

And away she went.

Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.


After a death in our family recently it made me start thinking about obituaries and epitaphs. I know it’s a bit morbid but just go with me here. I read an obituary this week written about someone I knew well. I read it twice. I wondered who wrote it because nothing that was mentioned resembled the person I knew the deceased to be. It’s so often the case that we perceive ourselves much differently than others do. Sometimes we conjure up a much more complimentary or glamorous view of how we believe others see us. At other times, we are sure that others view us as insignificant or worse, invisible in value. Either is an extreme and the truth truly falls somewhere in the middle of those two.



 [ep-i-taf, -tahf]


1.a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.

2.a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.



So what if we could write our own epitaph?

You gotta think about what would go in the “dash” you see above. Because that dash represents your breathing years.

It represents a lot of activity.

A lot of sleep.

A lot of joy

A lot of struggle

A lot of accomplishment

A lot of failure

A lot of love

A lot of frustration

A lot of time spent doing things you deemed important at least for the moment.

And all of what in the dash basically adds up to the content of your epitaph.

So, my thought for today – for this week – for this lifetime, however long it is….

Is to decide daily what I want the dash to represent. It’s about choices and making them toward something valuable in the long haul.

Oh my! A lot of thinking to do about priorities, adjustments, PEOPLE.

So, we are writing our own epitaph after all. Only the remaining time in the dash in unknown.

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