“…because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an exhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
A little while ago, a few days after my father was taken to the hospital and I had cancelled my vacation to be closer to him and family, I decided to write my eulogy.
This was something that I had thought about doing for a long time, but surprisingly (or not), it had never been a priority. It isn’t like on every averge day you have this urge to confront your own mortality.
Writing my eulogy made perfect sense, starting at the end in order to map out the path on getting there and not some where totally off course. It especially made sense during a time that I was witnessing the fragility of life and realizing the importance of living one’s truth and calling. I was questioning my priorities, wondering how I would feel if today were my last day, and assessing what I had accompolished in the light of my values.
This is the second time I’ve symbolically stared at my own death and faced my mortality. The first time was part of my Sufi initiation, when I purchased a white fabric to serve as my shroud, ensuring that it was a sufficient length and width to wrap around my corpse. Both times I was left feeling much lighter, with more clarity and a stronger sense of purpose and conviction.
While the urge might not be there, I strongly recommend taking the time and space to write your eulogy so you can be the protagonist of your own life.