I just read an article on The Guardian about a “perfectly lovely and life-affirming a funeral” of someone who died suddenly and unexpectedly at only 49. I read a lot of stories about dying, death, and funerals, but this author, Kathryn Flett totally made a light bulb go off in my head. She ends the article with this:
“It is a cruel irony that we are, if we’re lucky, only likely to attract all the friends we’ve dreamed of gathering together under one roof when we’re not even there to witness it… But RIP, lovely James, who lived it large and was sent off in style, surrounded by love. Thank you so much for bringing us all together.”
The notion that it’s likely only at our funeral that all the people we’ve ever meant something to—from a possible very long list of associations (think about it: family, friends, neighbors, colleagues from any number of jobs, clubs, volunteer work, religious groups, people from the dog park, people from the gym, people from Starbucks, people from You Name It)—will all be together. Meeting each other, reminiscing about you, and ideally experiencing some awesome, you-like magic that will always stay with them.
If this isn’t a reminder or a reason to plan yourself a killer (not literally, that would be taking things to an unnecessary extreme) goodbye party I don’t know what is.
And the fact that you won’t be there takes all the pressure off!
Think about all the parts of your life that have made your life worth living, no matter how large or especially how small. Make sure they’re part of your goodbye party. The folks who shared those parts of your life with you will be touched and honored, and the others will be delighted to learn about other sides of your life they knew nothing about.
I’m going to detail ways and examples of how to do this in coming blog posts. So for now, just remember that this final party — YOUR FINAL PARTY woo hoo — is also a once-in-a-lifetime gathering for all those who had you in common, and an opportunity for a kind of magic not possible any other time or place. Carpe Diem…. for the seriously last time.