Have you ever wondered how people will talk about you when you are no longer in the world?
Even though I don’t share with people, I constantly have this kind of thought whenever I read about someone’s life, especially those in wikipedia, because they have summarized the person’s life into one short web page.
Recently I read a book by Richard Wiseman titled 59 seconds, he wrote about the benefit of writing your own eulogy as a way to put the end of your life in mind so that you know what kind of life in the end of day you would want to have.
We don’t often have eulogy presented during the usual Chinese funeral. The last eulogy I heard was from a Christian funeral, and I thought it was meaningful to announce to everyone who was present about the life of the deceased and how the person would be remembered.
I did a bit of google and found that writing your own eulogy is a psychological exercise. It may sound like a taboo in our Asian culture, but I truly believe that this would definitely help to see life from a different perspective and to acknowledge our mortality.
So this is the outline of a eulogy which I found in this link http://artofmanliness.com/2009/06/20/30-days-to-a-better-man-day-21-write-your-eulogy/:
1. Birth and childhood, keep this brief
2. College and career, include any accomplishments you made
3. Family and relationships
4. Hobbies and interests
5. The qualities and characteristics that set you apart and made you memorable
6. What people will miss about you
Imagine that you lived until 90 years old and you passed away, picture how you lived in the 9 decades and write a script for your friend to be presented in your funeral.
So I wrote myself a brief one (I skip a few points though):
“If you know Zu Dian very well, you would agree with me that she is one of the most blessed people you know. She seemed to do well in everything, her career, her personal life and even her life after retirement. But if you know her even better, you would know all these did not come easy for her.
She always quoted from the book The Road Less Travelled: ‘Life is a series of problems, yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning.’ To her, problems are to be overcome, problems are ways from God to show His grace and mercy. Her success originated from problems. She wanted me to tell everyone here should you now face any form of problem in life, remember God will not forsake you, do not be anxious about anything, but commit to God whatever you do, and your plans will succeed (Proverbs 6 : 3)
She was blessed with an awesome husband and amazing children. Her family is what I would call a ‘role model’ family. I believe her children would agree with me that her mother was a supportive mother despite her being a busy person until her last breath and their mother contributed a lot towards their success. Oh dear, you kids are lucky to have her.
She had a wide scope of interest, from doodling to books to music to dancing. However she admitted that she liked talking the most. You may find her not to be an overly talkative person, but you can’t deny that she always had a way to sustain a meaningful conversation. Besides she had a hobby that not many know, she loved writing notes and letters, this was what she told me even though I had not received any note from her. Guess if we were to be in a different era, everyone of you would receive million of notes from her instead of electronic messages.
She was definitely a special lady I have ever known. She always seemed to have great energy towards life. She was generous to others, no matter in the form of material or in the form of encouragement, you could count on her. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9: 11 ‘You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God’. She was certainly a giver who showed how abundant blessings she received from the heaven above, and yet she boasted about nothing but God. She would always be cheering for you and begging you not to give up, that is why we love her so much. She loved people around her, she loved her husband, her children and her grandchildren, she loved her family especially her youngest brother, above all, she loved God.
I would describe her as the Wife of Noble Character depicted in the last chapter of Proverbs. I lost a friend physically but I always have her in my heart, and I know she doesn’t want us to feel sad for that because we will definitely meet again in a better place. If I have a daughter, I would like her to be just like my dear friend.”
It feels weird to describe yourself from another party’s point of view, but this is what I want people to remember me for, an outstanding ordinary servant of God.