Tears in Heaven: Eulogising Myself

To be read in the event of my death (read my previous blog post for context).

This may be obvious just by the fact that I wanted to write my own eulogy, but I’ve always revelled in being different; in doing the unexpected thing, and embracing my quirkiness.

I have always felt different – never quite fit in – but I like to think I learned to fake it when the occasion arose. Eventually.

It’s no secret that I had a dark, lonely childhood, except maybe to the few people who were around for it, who never seemed to notice. I don’t want to dwell on that, but I want to acknowledge it. It’s something I could never really escape and, as such, it became a part of my person, not to mention many, many poems.

Aside from Steve – who we all know is so perfect for me, it’s as if we were specifically sculpted by life to come together – words and stories have been the great love in my life. I said once, that there was a time I made a list of all the things I wanted to do, and it turned out to be a list of books I wanted to write.

There’s so much I could write here. I’m not entirely sure if this should be in third person, or if I should force it into past tense. No doubt, given the circumstances, the people I have left behind are negotiating that same challenge.

How do you deal with someone just being… gone? I don’t pretend to know, but I do try and plan ahead as much as possible.

As I sit here, in my first home with Steve, I try and think about what parting words I want to leave you all with. I think it can be fairly well summed up in these song lyrics by Linkin Park:

Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for sights unseen
May your love never end
And if you need a friend
There’s a seat here alongside me

[Roads Untraveled]

I want to just follow that up with the words of a poem:

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

[Mary Elizabeth Frye]

Finally, continuing on a theme, I present you with my favourite quote:

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” [Dr. Seuss.]

Which is not to say I’m adamant you don’t shed a tear for me, so much as I urge you to think about why you cry. If you cry for me, it must be because you cared. And that’s no bad thing.

I love you too.

Death Wishes

One of my ex-boyfriends found the idea of bucket lists really morbid and was horrified when I asked him, conversationally, what he wanted to achieve or do before he dies. (I’m always asking questions like that. It must be such smooth talk that helped me woo my husband.)

Given the reaction, I can only imagine how he (and no doubt others reading this) would feel about this blog post, which is going to be the first in a set of two. In one – this one – I want to outline my wishes for when I die. And in part two (which I’ll put out probably tomorrow, if I see it), I plan to share a eulogy for myself – written by myself, about myself (because who better to write it?) – to be read at my eventual funeral.

Cheery, cheery stuff, I think to myself, with a heavy dose of sarcasm; but here’s the thing: I don’t find thinking, or talking, or writing about death morbid. Not really. I find it fascinating, which is maybe morbid in itself, I guess.

Maybe it’s down to having been severely depressed for a lot of years, and suicidal on and off during that time, but I think about death a lot. I’ve formulated a lot of strong opinions about it. And – here’s the main, main thing – I am going to die. Everyone is. That’s not bad news, or good news; it shouldn’t even be news, just a simple fact. Facts hold no emotion. They don’t have to be scary.

Now, having just said that, I’m aware I’ve probably spooked a few people reading this already, so let be backtrack a bit before I proceed: I would just like to clarify that I am not currently depressed or suicidal, I don’t have some terminal condition, and I don’t particularly foresee myself dying in the near future. But it will come, at some point – maybe tomorrow, or next year, or before I finish writing this blog post. We don’t and can’t know when, but can be certain it will happen sooner or later. So, me being the very organized person that I am, I thought I would plan ahead and put my wishes down in black and white so there’s never any uncertainty about them. Also, I want to open a discussion, because I think talking about death before we have to face it is not only a good idea, but the most reasonable idea around.  Continue reading

A Journal Entry for Today

Last night I was feeling so productive. I was excited for starting a new month of writing projects and opportunities. I wrote out a list of everything I wanted to achieve.

Today, I woke up in pain. That’s been happening a lot, lately; waking up not when I’m no longer tired, but when the pain gets too much.

My back has been in increasing levels of agony for a while. My left knee and hip aren’t really aligned, properly, and I just feel so tired.

I’m not making this post to complain, but to document a day that hasn’t gone to plan. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that life is all sunshine and roses for people, but there’s often a lot more going on under the surface, and I like being open about that stuff.

I’m really concerned about money issues. I’m having anxiety dreams about it.

Talking to my mother on the phone, she tells me her cousin died, and I’m reminded of my own morality.

Death and the afterlife is something I think about a lot. Something I’m searching for answers about.

There’s just a lot in my head, and I didn’t feel right forcing myself to put up a blog post about books today.

They say writing this shit down helps.