Nothing quite like the power of a good funeral…
My Valentine’s Day started with a funeral this year. My wife’s 93 year old great uncle left us. He was a lawyer, one of the good ones, passionate about the process and the people he served. He was at Normandy…and came home.
An inspiration. A beacon of quiet strength, he helped people without reservation. Sometimes with advice, other times with money or just the knowledge he was there should he be needed. He was married for 60 years and until the day his wife passed, they’d never be seen together without holding hands. And, he was a strong father. Always present, always sharing his passions.
Truth is, I didn’t know him that well. But, the stories that were shared at his ceremony reinforced what I’d always sensed. He was a good man.
And, it made me wonder, what story I want told about me when my time comes.
At only 44 years old, that may sound like a macabre question to ask.
But, really, it’s quite powerful. Life-affirming. Because it strips away the crust and exposes what matters.
I love marketing and entrepreneurship, but honestly, I don’t think the story I want told is “he was a great marketer.”
Part of the story I do know.
Others parts I won’t until I’m further into my journey. But, here are elements of book 1.
- A legendary father, husband, brother, son and friend
- Someone who left people better than he found them
- Someone who believed in the potential for greatness within all
- Someone who moved through life with a sense of awe, wonder and adventure
- Someone who challenged others to come alive, then helped in the endeavor
- Someone who was compassionate, even-handed
- Someone who gave a damn with all his heart
- Someone who owned up to being human
- Someone who was deeply intuitive
- Someone who knew how to laugh
- Someone who built people up
- Someone who loved deeply
- Someone who was present
- Someone who created
- Someone who gave
- Someone who led
- Who truly lived
Those are the chapters. So far…
My task is to fill each with stories worth telling and retelling for generations to come.
Because, as George Bernard Shaw said:
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brithly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Nothing is permanent. We have one shot at telling our story.
Owning up to that isn’t dark. It isn’t macabre.
It’s a gift…
I wonder…what story are you writing with the way you’re living your life?
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