I always want to tell young people that life goes by quicker than they can imagine. In fact, I HAVE told numerous of the younger set that. But I know it falls on deaf ears. You have to have forty or fifty years under your belt before you realize how true it is. And, I suppose, the message behind those words is as obscure and meaningless as the words to young ears.
The message is that they should enjoy life; that they should do all that they do at full throttle; that they should do good, be good, take risks, laugh… make a difference in the world as soon as they can, because it all ends too quickly.
I like to think that, if I were young and could do it all over, I’d listen to those words, and live life a bit differently. I don’t think it would show so much on the outside (or maybe it would), but I would have liked to have lived life with more passion. I would have liked to have lived life where I ‘stopped to smell the roses’ more often and where I jumped off a bridge with a bungee cord tether, where I helped with disaster relief and gave lots of money to the needy and wrote regular letters to the editor and to my congressmen/women. I would have liked to have spoken, from the pulpit (I’ve spent my life as a minister), words of social justice and outspokenly opposed the wrong and the ugly and the liars of the world – not just sin, as ministers are supposed to do, but wrong in terms of human rights and dignity and civility and kindness. I would have liked to weep more over war and all those men and women who died on both sides and talk with strangers in hospice.
But there isn’t time. There isn’t energy. There isn’t wisdom enough when we are young enough. We do our best, along the way, to be the people we need to be and, perhaps, that is all we are supposed to be. But it somehow falls short. When someone contacts The Eulogy Writers to have my story told when I die, I hope they are able to list lots of things I’ve done. To me, that list seems way too short. But I suppose it is still better than the life story in the picture above: “I was born. I blinked. I died.” We have to make the most of that ‘blink.’
Steve Schafer is the founder of TheEulogyWriters and is probably the most prolific eulogy writer (and best) anywhere. He lives in Michigan and has been writing eulogies for well over thirty years. The articles in this blog are designed to help people through the process of losing loved ones.