Hope4Peyton header image

The One Where I Write My Own Eulogy

***There’s a new event on our events page.  There is a bone marrow drive in honor of Presley Dickson, and we are hoping and praying to find a bone marrow match for our friend Brooke Martin whose in desperate need of a match.***

It’s been a long week, folks.

Jimmy’s service, Grandma’s service and reading the stark words of a fellow blogger who’s just been diagnosed with cancer, I realize that staying positive is more than just a rainbow and kitten-nose outlook on life. It’s really freaking hard work!

I watch the way others cope, not in a judgmental way, but more in a “if that works for them, would it work for me?” introspective way.  At least MOST of the time, I’m not afraid to admit that I can be ALL SORTS of judgmental when the situation calls for it.  Like when the clerk at the 24 hour 7-11 says “Well, not 24 hours in a ROW”.  HUH?  That’s me being all judgmental about his need to head back to middle school for some of that high brow learning stuff.

But anyway, I guess because I have so many things to cope through, I look for ways it done better, more efficiently, with less heaving and sobbing and throwing of garden tools.

I was asked in an interview something along the lines of: you seem to be coping so well, how did you do it?  I nearly ruined a perfectly good laptop by snorting soda all over the keyboard.  Yes, Natalie, how DO I cope so well?  Not only did I get super duper RAGING angry at Pete just before we left for Miami….my dear friend who was just stopping by to do something nice by watching our dog for us got caught in the crosshairs.

I wish I could identify the one trigger that set me off., but I swear from the moment my eyes met the light, I was prepared for it to be a sucky day.  I was irritated by my kids, the whole packing-to-go-to-another-funeral thing was stressing me out, and everything Pete did…from talking to breathing…was part of the shovel that dug me deeper into the funk I had so carefully prepared for myself.  I was a glaring, huffing, snotty, ugly person that day….and I so loosely use the word “day”, which could easily be replaced with “days” or “week”…and I knew why, but not WHY.

Do I have reason to unleash the full power of my cranky on the world?  Maybe. I’m full of grief, frustration, and uncontrollable sadness.  I hate cancer and what it does to the lives of people I love, people I barely know, anyone who has to suffer through this disease.  I’m tired of going to funerals. I’m up to 7 funerals in 6 months.  Grandma’s was the first that wasn’t cancer related.  I’m angry!

Then today I’m sitting beneath a tent, starring at a picture of a woman who lived 99 years on this earth.  And the love that she shared with each person she came into contact was universally whole.  The stories shared about the depth of this woman’s devotion to family and friends, the endurance of her kindness and compassion were endless.

I had this epiphany that I shouldn’t be watching people to see how they cope with the extraordinary, but I should be absorbing how to deal with the mundane from someone who obviously knew how to do it right.  I’m sure all the varous loved ones there today took away different emotions.  But I just felt this calm, this peace and all the built up animosity just melted away.

Tonight at dinner I asked my family what they’d want to hear said about themselves at their funeral.  What words would you like to be attributed to who you were while alive?  The kids were so kids, they want to be remembered as funny, goofy, clean and I think Rachael said “blurry” at one point.  Peter wanted to be remembered as a good father, good husband, trustworthy friend, loving person…so done already.

Because people say all the lies you want them to right things during the eulogy, I’m sure many of the things I’d like people to say about me would BE said.  Now, I just have to work harder on making them true.

List of things I hope people will say about me when I’m gone

I was faithful to my Lord
My family knew that they were loved by me
I was a good listener
I was honest
I was a friend that could be counted upon
I could laugh
I was responsible for my actions
I was understanding when I could be, and when I couldn’t, I was accepting

What would you like to hear about yourself?

10 Comments on “The One Where I Write My Own Eulogy”

  1. #1 Sarah Clapp
    on Jul 30th, 2008 at 6:53 am

    I don’t doubt for a second that you will be remembered the way you hope. A very thought provoking blog entry! 🙂

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..Crazy Day!

  2. #2 Kim
    on Jul 30th, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Found you through Mathew..
    Going to another funeral (car accident) Sat.
    I would want to be remembered as..
    true to my Lord
    could always find the silver lining
    teachable, moldable, changeable

    Kims last blog post..This is Papa Jim in his earthly glory

  3. #3 Jennifer
    on Jul 30th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Very interesting post Anissa! My good frineds call me a “walking eulogy”. It bothers me tremendously that we tend to wait until someone has died before we say the things about them that they really should know while they are alive. I hate that people are uncomfortable saying to someone “You are a good person and you have helped me learn to be a good person.” or “Do you know that I often look toward your marriage when I am trying to fix something in mine?” or “I see how hard you try to be the best mom/dad/brother/sister/father/daughter that you can be and it inspires me to be better too.” Why do we wait? Why are we not telling people these things while they are ALIVE??? The world would be a better place if we could stop telling everyone what they are doing WRONG while they are alive and start telling them what they are doing RIGHT before they die.

    So, with that said, YOU my friend are awesome! I look to you to find humor in situations that suck. I think you are strong, committed, funny, and loving. YOU inspire me Anissa! You have not HAD a life well lived…you are LIVING a life well lived!


    Jennifers last blog post..The MRI…

  4. #4 always home and uncool
    on Jul 30th, 2008 at 10:29 am

    “Blurry” — that’s genius. I’d keep my eyes on that one real close come the high school years.


    Sometimes he felt the world owed him a favor, but never liked asking for it. He knew he took too few chances in life, and that was OK. He enjoyed the hours but loathed the work. God save The Kinks!

    always home and uncools last blog post..The Company You Keep

  5. #5 Tropic of Mom
    on Jul 30th, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Aw. This is tough to read, and tough to think about. I like what you had to say, and what your kids had to say.

  6. #6 Musing
    on Jul 31st, 2008 at 5:50 am

    It is so true. Thinking about how we’ll be remembered helps us live better lives today.


  7. #7 Melisa
    on Jul 31st, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Very thoughtful post. I’ll have to think on it and get back to you, but mostly I just want people to smile when they think of me.

    Melisas last blog post..Is This You?

  8. #8 Laurie
    on Jul 31st, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Very thought provoking post. Never have given it much thought but will after reading your post.

    Lauries last blog post..Only 21 days and it’s back to school

  9. #9 Heather
    on Jul 31st, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Oh, Anissa, I am so sorry about the loss of Grandma! She sounds like such a special person. It is always so hard to lose the ones we love – no matter the age.

    I think nothing but wonderful things would be said about YOU! But let’s not find out anytime soon! 🙂

    Heathers last blog post..Summer Days!

  10. #10 Miss Suzy
    on Jul 31st, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    This is a great blog, and you are a very good writer.
    I am inspired to register to become a bone marrow donor. I will do something good with my life on my day off, rather than just blog!
    God bless you and your family.

    Miss Suzys last blog post..Time is a Two-Way Street