“She was a beloved mother, daughter, sister and friend. There was nobody quite like her and the world will never be the same.”
I beg of you, please do not say this at my funeral. First, it’s so cliche; it really is. And while it may be true, it’s also a cop out. Those words are like a default setting and require very little thought and deliver minimal impact unless paired with strong supporting evidence. Second, it’s generic! There’s nobody quite like me, but you’re just going to add in a cookie cutter phrase to your eulogy anyway? Yeah, it sounds freakin ironic to me too. #fail
But, I’ll tell you the real reason why I don’t want you to say ant of that at my funeral:
It’s too little too late. Yep. Alright, so maybe eulogies are more for the loved ones to share in sorrow and grief. I get that. It’s just…well, who do you think would downright love to hear all those kind things you have to say? ME!
Tell me while I’m still alive. Write me a letter and reminisce of a fond memory you have. Not a fan of snail mail? Send me an email! Or a text. Whatever your preference, just say it, so I know. So I can think of you and smile and write back.
Please don’t wait until Facebook tells you it’s my birthday or our Friend-anniversary. Don’t hit me up to hang out and catch up when I’m in town for a few days and then go the rest of the year without saying a word. Okay well I totally understand that life gets busy..so if you still want to do that last part then it’s alright, but I’m leaving that example so you get the idea.
Don’t wait until it’s too late for me. Or your mom, or an old friend, or your spouse, or your son or your daughter, or someone who made a lasting impression on you. Don’t wait.
There’s never going to be a more perfect time than now. What’s stopping you, anyway? Fear? While I totally respect fear’s importance as a survival instinct, it serves no purpose in this matter. Thus, fear is bullshit. What other excuses do you have? Time? I guarantee you have 10 minutes to prioritize for this. Believe me, you do. Next excuse? No, honey, stop making excuses. They’re all crap.
Why do we wait until our loved ones pass away to proclaim and shout how much we loved them? Sure, we say it as part of our goodbyes in conversation, but that’s a given. I bet you tell all your family and friends all the time how much you love them. That’s wonderful! But, when did you last make them feel loved by you? That’s different. That’s deeper, more substantial, more effort.
When was the last time you called someone “just because”? And I don’t mean text. Texting is great for efficiency, but it’s not nearly as heartfelt as a phone call in which you give all your attention to the person on the other line in real time.
Could you just, for like, 15 seconds, imagine what that could do for the other person? How it would make them feel to receive something so unexpected? A simple letter. A phone call. A handmade card. On a completely random calendar day, as in, not a holiday or date of significance.
We’re talking HUGE you guys. A huge impact. Oh my gosh, it gives me chills just thinking about it! The power you have to make someone’s day is unparalleled. And it’s a gift that we all can give. Every single one of us.
By the way, the person you were thinking of as you read this, that’s who you should bless first. And then keep it going.