One of the things I’ve always enjoyed is casually perusing the graveyards of old, small towns. The stones say so much. One such stone is often referenced in marriage ceremonies (see left). Another I came across was on a backroad near Hebron, NH. “Here lies Francois DuBois. Hung as a horse thief. 1638.” Epitaphs can tell us much about a person’s life, as can Obituaries.
Obituaries can be a good source of information about those who have already gone before? Not their material goods, but their legacy in the lives of their contemporaries— their friends, their families, and children.
Yet there are also obituaries that have little to do with the deceased. In many I’ve read I had known the person in life. While they lived they were miserable, grouchy, cranky, angry individuals. Yet, at their funeral, their eulogies made them out to be saints among men. Who were these people? Certainly not the wretched person I had known who had hated their life and many of those around them. Most of the conversations I remember with them could be summed up in three words— Bitch! Bitch! Bitch! They were chronic complainers, never happy with anything.
For most of us we can choose the kinds of people we become. We do not have to choose to be chronic complainers, self-absorbed little infestations of isolation and criticism. We can choose to be imparters of hope, peace, joy, and graciousness. We can choose to GIVE instead of being hoarders of life’s material goods. We can even sacrifice our lives for the good of others.
So what would you want people to remember about you once you’ve crossed-over to the other side? What would a truthful obituary about YOU look like? What words would you have chiseled on your tombstone? What life-legacy would you leave behind? Whatever it is, START LEAVING IT NOW. The craziness, the laughter, the good times and bad you share with people NOW is what you pass on to succeeding generations. We all need to become a little more aware of the way we live.
For what it’s worth,