Have you ever wondered what people will say about you as they gather at your memorial service? I asked my friends this question. A few knew the answer right away. But, many of them gave me blank stares. Some avoided answering saying, “When you are gone, you are gone. Who cares?” Others replied that they hadn’t given it a thought but, now that I asked, they were curious.
The ball got rolling and, as our discussions continued, friends and colleagues came up with many values for which they would want loved ones to remember them. My friend Al wanted people to remember him as frugal. My friend Bonnie said she wanted her loved ones to say she was a good mother. Joan told me that above all she would like to be remembered for her love of God. Jim revealed that being a top man in government was what he wanted to come to people’s minds.
One person’s views did not match with another’s so the list grew and grew. What began as a single question grew into a list of over 100 commonly held values people wished to be etched in their loved ones’ memories.
To get you thinking, the list is available to you. Over 500 people have already completed the process of discerning what would be important values for which they wish to be remembered. They have turned in the attached questionnaire. I have compiled preliminary results. You may be surprised at people’s answers which will be reported on this blog later down the line.
You can be a part of this the survey by returning your answers by completing it and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ben Franklin said that we need to incorporate the values for which we want to be remembered into our actions. Are you doing that? Will your loved ones know—without you telling them how you wish them to remember you?
Susan Schoenbeck, MSN, RN