Saturday, December 29, 2012

Self Help Flaws - Funeral Eulogies

Recently, I read an article on where the author found her life purpose by imagining her funeral eulogy. She was quite emotional, and realized that she was not going in the direction of where the eulogy she wanted was going.

I've always hated the question, "If you were at your funeral, what would you want people to say about you?"
Thoughts about your own mortality aside, this question is completely abstract and misleading. The real question under this question is, "What do you want to see yourself as?" "Who do you want to be?" There's no way to control what people really think of you, and it would be impolite to go into negative territory. I know this firsthand from going to my father's funeral. I didn't really know him too well, but I got the impression that he wasn't too influential on the community and that he didn't have anyone to vouch for him. So his funeral wasn't just bland, but the priest decided to take some religious leeway and turn my father's death into a lesson about fearing the Lord. Awkward.

I've been to other funerals that weren't so negative, but I don't remember a whole lot about them.

There are other issues I have with this question, which don't pertain to funerals in particular. In my life, I've transitioned friends, careers, and locations multiple times. Even with Facebook, I think my "close friend" network is about five people, and I'm not sure how long that will last. At the time of my funeral, I expect any eulogy to represent a snapshot of my life at that particular point, regardless of who I am today.