Okay, don’t panic about the headline.
I’m not really writing my obituary, and I’m not dying.
I am, however, thinking about my eulogy and what I would want somebody to say about me at my funeral.
I know it sounds morbid, but stick with me.
A few days ago, I found out about a tragedy in the family of one of my dearest college friends.
His brother and sister-in-law died in a car accident while their 16-year-old daughter was driving.
She accidentally went off the edge of the highway and struck a road marker, which caused the car to slide sideways and overturn, coming to rest on its wheels in the desert. She and her 19-year-old sister survived the accident. Their 22-year-old sister was not with them on the trip.
Three young girls without their parents.
I attended the funeral yesterday, bracing myself for the depth of sorrow I would feel.
I came away uplifted, inspired, and wishing I had been best friends with or next door neighbors to this amazing family.
When the oldest daughter stood up to speak, I prayed silently for her to have the strength to get through her remarks.
She stood behind the microphone, looked out at the many friends and family that filled the church, and gave one of the most eloquent talks I’ve ever heard at a funeral.
I couldn’t believe she could stand there so poised and articulate at what had to be the worst moment of her young life.
One of the first quotes she shared was from LDS President Thomas S. Monson, “Choose your love and love your choice.”
She said that quote summarized her parents’ love for each other.
She spoke of a parents who never missed a game, concert, award ceremony or graduation; a father who made up sappy jokes that kept them all laughing, and a mother that cheered so loud and got so riled at the refs that she nearly got ejected from more than one game.
She remembers her mom laughing all the time, her dad giving what little money he had to someone else when it seemed like they needed it more.
She concluded by saying the best gift her parents ever gave her was their LDS Temple marriage which gave her hope that she and her sisters would be with them again as a family.
The bishop that presided at the funeral did not know the couple and their children, but he knew their extended family.
He said, “I didn’t need to know this couple because their last name tells me all I need to know about them.”
I left thinking about my own funeral and how I would like it to be just like that one.
I want people to know me by my last name because I have lived up to the honor, character, integrity and legacy of faith that is symbolized in my family name.
I want people to say of me what they said of this couple — that everybody that knew them felt like they were their best friends; and that everyone that ever spent time with them left feeling better about themselves.
I know funerals can be sad and depressing, but they can also be full of hope, strength and perspective.
Even though I didn’t personally know this couple, I know them now from the beautiful tributes I heard about them yesterday.
It made me think about what I want people to say about me when I die.
How can I live to earn the kinds of tributes I heard yesterday? How can I be as good as Kendall and Rebecca?
While it might seem morbid, imagine sitting in the pew at your own funeral.
Are you confident you would like what you might hear?
I want people to say of me what they said about this remarkable, loving couple.
That inspires me to be a better mother, daughter, wife, sister, and friend.
How about you?