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How to be remembered

A woman at my church passed away and we had her memorial service today.  It was a sad occasion because her death was rather unexpected but it was also a joyous occasion because it was  a celebration of her life.  Just in the interest of clarity, her death wasn’t entirely unexpected.  She had just had surgery that seemed to have gone well.  But she was 93 years and 11 months old and, being just shy of her 94th birthday, death can’t be all that unexpected.  Still, we were hoping to have her in our midst a while longer.

As I mentioned her memorial service was a celebration of her life.  Pastor shared some remembrances from her family during his homily and then passed the microphone around for others to share their thoughts and memories.  The picture they painted was of a woman much loved by all who knew her but who also had a reputation as a strong and formidable presence.  When she said something, people listened and followed her directions.  She had a commanding way about her.  But she was also quite loving and caring of all her family, friends and church community.

I sat up in the balcony (my usual perch for church services) listening to all the kind, funny, and happy remembrances and I couldn’t help but wonder what people will say about me when I am gone.  Seeing how a person’s life is summed up and hearing it in an honest way gives me perspective on how I am living my life.  Am I being as kind as possible?  Am I treating others with respect and dignity?  Do I make people laugh and happy?  Will I be remembered well when I have moved on to live in heaven?  It gave me pause to think.

I will miss Eedee.  She was a great woman and lived a long full life.  We are having a potluck at church tomorrow and I’m sure she would have attended and had a great time.  It will be sad that she can’t be there although I’m sure she will be there in spirit and in the memories of all who participate.

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