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How Will I Be Remembered?

I went to the rosary for my friend tonight. The funeral home was packed to capacity. My friend came from a big family, married into a big family, and was both gregarious and popular. It's not surprising that there were hundreds of people at the rosary and there will probably be an even bigger crowd at the Mass tomorrow.

What everyone said over and over was that "she touched so many people." It's true. She was a very social person - someone who always enjoyed going out, mixing, drawing people into a crowd to have fun.

I started thinking about my own funeral, and realizing that mine will be a more Eleanor Rigby affair.

My life right now consists of work and home. I have lost touch with most of the people I went to high school and college with, and I don't really mind the loss. The people with whom I interact on a daily basis aren't the sort of people whom I'd call "friends." I'd more likely call them "co-workers." We barely socialize, I don't tell them much about my personal life. Even here, not all of you know my real name. Even fewer of you know my husband's name or the names of my children. You all know some of the more sordid details of my life, but very few of you could pick me out of a lineup.

And then I got to thinking, "Do I even care? Does it matter to me how big the crowd at my funeral or what's said about me in the eulogy?" The answer to that is yes and no. I'm going to be dead. Whatever people thought about me while I'm alive will likely change drastically once I'm dead. As with every artist, my stock is worth much more when no new shares can be issued. On the other hand, I realize that there is a very vain and shallow part of me that does want to be loved, even if I'm incapable of withstanding anything that might demonstrate that love to me.

It's stupid, I know.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2005 06:19 am (UTC)
not stupid. or shallow. i don't think it's about wanting to be loved. i doubt your friend went forth and asked what can i do to make people love me.

i want to make a difference in people's lives. whether or not someone comes to the funeral is less important than having the kind of contact with people that would make them want to come. doesn't matter how many, in my mind. quality is more important than quantity.

if you died tomorrow i would come to your funeral. and i'd tell people that you have a gift for honesty and cutting through the crap. and that you wrote the funniest story about a cat violating a pillow that i ever read. thanks for that.
Jun. 11th, 2005 08:58 am (UTC)
I could pick up out from a line up.

If I was asked about you, I would say that you were a caring person. I would tell the person in this day and this place that counted. It is not something I would say lightly.
Jun. 13th, 2005 04:49 pm (UTC)
It's not stupid.
I think most of us think the same thing. I can relate. I wonder myself. Sometimes I don't really care and somtimes I do. I wonder how people I know would really find out if I dies. It's not like my family or my husband have the emails to everyone I keep in contact with. The reality is that people move on and friendships change. I don't have very many genuine "friends." I find that it is important just to love and be loved by the people we do have in our lives and to appreciate that we have that love. Some people don't have anyone.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )