I started a new unit at uni last Wednesday - Written Communication - and one of the first tasks has really got me thinking and suffering from sleepless nights.
The lecturer asked the class to write their own obituaries with unusual or creative causes of death. Slightly macabre maybe but the result was some interesting manners of death.
But that's not what's causing my sleeplessness. I'm not terrified that I'm going to be burnt at the stake under accusation of witchcraft (my cause of death). Rather the exercise caused a chain reaction of thoughts making me wonder what if I really was to die how would my obituary read. What would be written in my eulogy?
There is some book or movie or speech - I can't remember which - that makes reference to living the first line of your eulogy. If I were to die today, right this second, what would be said about my life? To clarify this isn't my way of announcing that I have a deadly disease and am not expected to make it to Christmas. This is more of a reflective exercise.
My life has had some interesting parts to be sure. But when push comes to shove have I lived a life that could fill a page? I wonder how my life would be remembered.
These are things that could be said:
- She was undertaking a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature (not completed)
- She was a wanna be photographer
- She fancied herself to be a bit of a poet (unpublished)
- She wanted to be an author but never really got around to it
- She lived in PNG for a while there and a few places in Australia
- She blogged
- She struggled with chronic pain and lived with a disability
- She traveled a bit but not as much as she would have liked
Now, don't get me wrong, I am by no means unhappy with my life. I am more just wondering about the measure of my life. Also how can you go about summing up a life? What can be considered as a 'well lived' life?
I would like, whenever my time ends, to be able to be talked about as a poet, photographer and author. I would like to be considered as someone who follows their art and doesn't compromise on their values. As someone who maintains integrity and truth.
This is not a complaint... It is more a reality check. Reminding me that life is short and you can't afford to waste one single moment of it. I need to enjoy all of my life, not just waiting for it all to come together. Is life a sum total of all the small parts or is it the bigger things that matter?
The question of the day is: What would your eulogy say about you?