What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?

‘What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?’ is a question I ask my students often.

They find it confronting, which it’s meant to be.

Once we discuss it for awhile, everyone sharing what they think, I then say, ‘now go out and live your life so that they will say all those things about you!’

We are not on this earth for a long time. I’m sure. like me, you know people who have not made it to old age, their life cut short when they had so much more to live and contribute.

Don’t leave this plane with things undone, words unsaid and goals unconquered.

How do you want people to remember you?

What do you want them to say at your funeral?

This poem The Dash, written by Linda Ellis in 1996, is the perfect explanation for what I want to generate in this discussion.

The Dash 

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend.  He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash.  What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Linda Ellis

 

Photo by Rhodi Lopez

 

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