Thursday, May 10, 2007

The second reply

I will do one as if I was addressing people at your funeral and one as if you and I were alone together in a room as you have described. The two are very different. The first, consisting of thoughts and memories that I would wish to share with others about the experience of you. The second, thoughts and feelings I would share with no one...not even you. But since you ask...It may take some time, but I will send it. I am honored by your request.

The first reply

I love this idea, Monica. In fact, my parents have asked me to deliver the eulogies at their respective funerals.>I would like to participate in this. And I don't think I could write one about you; I don't recall much about your life (it's been 16 years since I moved from California). May I do one about someone else--or is this a "you" thing? Love,Eric

Yes, please please write one for anybody and everybody you are moved to include. You got the idea EXACTLY, that's why I thought of you Eric. I will be publishing them (with permission only) on a new writing project blog:
I can't wait to see what happens.
PS. Please forward this to anyone you think would like to participate.

The Proposal

It occurred to me that you would be someone I might entrust with my newest writing project. Most people think I'm totally off my rocker, but I thought that you would get the spirit and intention of this exercise, because you are special, and because I love you.

I have been kicking around this idea of The Eulogy Project. It's not a new idea; just something that occurred to me after the passing of my mother 6 years ago, and didn't have the guts to do it until I ended up in the hospital.

The Eulogy Project is whereby people create a living eulogy for their loved ones. Usually you have to die before all the people in your life congregate and re-create and relive those special moments in your lives that were shared together. Usually you have to die before that long held grudge dissolves and you forget all the bad thoughts and recollections suddenly transform, and all you can remember is the good times, and fond, tender feelings that you haven't felt in years. Usually you have to die before someone puts into words all the words of appreciation, awe, and acknowledgement they feel and think towards you, and the irony is, you're not there to hear it, (well, you are, but you know what I mean).

When we are young, we have scrapbooks where we put all our accolades. Report cards, awards from school, merit badges, ect. I have these for my children. What occurred to me is, what happens after you "grow up"? We define ourselves then by our roles as mother or father, and by our occupation. What about a scrap book that captures the "who we are", (I call it my Self Esteem scrapbook), so that before we die, we will really know how much we are loved.Enter the Eulogy project, just one part of the Self Esteem scrapbook I am creating.

When my mom died, I didn't know what to write on her obituary. Sure, I could plug in some dates and events into a pre-formatted template, but I was in shock about how little of my mother I knew. I knew her as "my mom", and the good and bad that entailed, but I didn't know anything about who she was other than that. If only I had a scrapbook from her loved ones she had known throughout her life. I would have treasured that.

So, if you are up to it, please send in a eulogy for me. Pretend (I am or someone else is) lying in a casket in front of you, (or in a box if cremated), and you're standing at some podium with a few people in front of you. Or better yet, pretend I'm in a casket in front of you, we're in a room alone, and it's quiet, and you know nobody will hear you, and we won't be interrupted. What would you say?

Send it to me email. Thank you for participating. Take as long as you need.