Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Summer 2020- Pot Luck – 10 Lessons I Learned From Writing My Own Eulogy by Erica/Erika

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020

This is the first post from Erica or Erika of Behind The Scenery Photo and her post this week is about something few of us consider writing in advance of one of life’s major events.

10 Lessons I Learned From Writing My Own Eulogy by Erica/Erika

Butchart Gardens, June 2020

You Could Hear A Pin Drop

  • Did I hear the assignment correctly?
  • I do not feel comfortable about this.
  • Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

The Writing Assignment For Next Week

“Write your own eulogy in approximately 4 sentences and 75 words.”

My Writing Group

I greatly respect these smart, witty, inspirational women. I really like them. They are my friends.

I am not going to be the first one to cave in and say “no, this assignment is not for me.”

I want to stay open to new perspectives and new challenges.

Writing a eulogy is a challenge.

              Writing My Own Eulogy is a Daunting Task!

New Zealand 2019

My earliest memories of death

  • As a young child, I had a pet rabbit that disappeared one day. My parents told me it had died. Later on I heard some whispering about a stew. I am hoping I overheard incorrectly.
  • My other early memory is when I was sent home from school. I saw my parent’s sad, tear-stained faces. I was seven years old. I know the exact date. November 22, 1963. The day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Is The Universe Trying To Tell Me Something?

I would prefer not to think about death. Yet, I am not in denial.

The concept of dying is in my radar often. Statistics are staring at me daily on every news site.

We have been sheltering in place, quarantining, living life in limbo. We have not made plans and we have not seen many of our loved ones.

I have been putting life on hold.

I have lost perspective.

Is this what The Universe is trying to tell me?

Where Do I Begin My Eulogy?

Sixty plus years covers a lot of territory.

Many experiences. Many thoughts. Many emotions. Many loved ones.

             75 words is a drop in the bucket.

1.  It is difficult and uncomfortable to say something nice about myself.  A common feeling.

Leanne Cresting The Hill  shares: “…finding and owning our positives…change the narrative to things I like about myself – I’m not sure why we all find that so hard to do?”

2.  Life’s greatest rewards are often found when I am feeling uncomfortable and taking risks.

Living outside of my comfort zone is when I thrive and I feel fully alive.

Miriam, a kindred spirit, writes the blog Out an’ About   Her recent words describe this feeling well: “It’s about living life with no regrets, embracing it, with all of its ups and downs, the good times and the crazy times. Yes, we might make some mistakes along the way, but that’s when we learn all those life lessons that make up our story, and that’s when we discover what we’re capable of.”

3.  Make informed decisions, yet do not live your life in fear.

4.  Life should never be put on hold.

5.  I cannot truly write all I would like to say in 75 words.

My actions will ultimately speak louder than any words I write.

6.  Writing my eulogy taught me about the kind of person I want to be.

The qualities I value versus my accomplishments and achievements.

7.  How do I affect the lives of others?  Have I made a difference in this world?

8.  Spend time with the people you love.

      “She told them often how much she loved them.”

       “She knew life was precious and every day was a gift.”

9. Facing the subject of death has brought a new perspective and clarity to how I live my present life.

10.  Writing my Eulogy is not a sad, depressing exercise.

Instead it is life-affirming.                    Butchart Gardens, June 2020

A huge thank you to Leanne for posing this challenging exercise. I greatly appreciate my courageous friends for being vulnerable and open to this challenge. The gift of friendship, a priceless legacy.

Leanne shares my eulogy along with five other unique, insightful and entertaining eulogies in her post The 4 Sentence Eulogy Challenge  

Have you ever written a Eulogy? What lessons did you learn along the way?

Have you put your life on hold during these unprecedented last few months?

Epilogue: My Husband Reads My Eulogy Assignment

My husband: “That’s it?”

Me: “I am already over the word count.”

Me again: “No tears?

My husband: “I just got an honourable mention.”

Me:  “I love you all equally, just in a different way. You know, apples and oranges.”

Me again:   “I expect you to write a longer eulogy for me. I expect some tears.”

          We both burst out laughing.

Inside, we know each other too well after 42 years.

Inside, we have a lump in our throats.

Inside, we both have tears.

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About Erica/Erika

I am an eternal optimist and a grateful Human Being.

I have been living on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia with my husband for the past 28 years. I am thankful our two daughters and their families live close by.
My career was in health care as a Dental Hygienist for over 25 years.

I am surrounded by people who inspire me on a daily basis. I love the concept of sharing new perspectives with each other and learning from each other.

I am always observing and paying attention, especially to the lessons that begin in whispers, lessons that get louder and louder.

I love taking pictures and I am often surprised by the hidden gems I missed the first time around. I chose the name Behind The Scenery Photo because there is always a story behind every photo. I am passionate about health, wellness and mindfulness. I am a work in progress, constantly learning, evolving, recreating.

Why the Names Erica/Erika?

A question I am often asked is why the two names?  The answer is found in this link.  I also learned a great deal from the Comments. Erica or Erika? Which Name Should I Keep?

Connect to Erica/Erika website: Behind the Scenery Photo – Facebook: Behind the Scenery Photo

Thank you for dropping by and Erica/Erika would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

50 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Summer 2020- Pot Luck – 10 Lessons I Learned From Writing My Own Eulogy by Erica/Erika

  1. Hi Erica, I found your somewhat delicate topic both thought provoking and given the changing times we are living in due to the pandemic, very good indeed. I have indeed written a eulogy, not my mother, when she died two years ago and it caused me to give a lot of time to preparing what is in fact a diary of someone’s life, a final loving gesture as you obviously want the person to be remembered for the many facets of their life.

    Well done.

    Joyce Hampton – fellow author

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nice to meet you, Joyce, In this exercise we had the limitation of approximately 75 words for our eulogies. Our writing group consists of six women and each of us had a different spin on our eulogies. Humorous and interesting. You can find the eulogies on Leanne’s “Cresting The Hill” blog site. Sally has highlighted this link in the post.

      I cannot imagine how difficult and emotional it was for you to write your Mother’s eulogy. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful and supportive comment. Erica

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sally, I woke up to a wonderful surprise this morning to find my post in your fascinating and fun Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Thank you! Writing my eulogy was a daunting task and I found it life-changing. I learned many lessons along the way and I am glad I said, yes. I look forward to reading the comments and feedback since here is where I often find gems. Thank you, again, and I look forward to staying connected.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember this post from Erica’s site. I think it’s an insightful exercise and helpful in reviewing our journey, but also prioritizing how we spend the rest of our time. I did it myself after my daughter was born. I wanted to leave a message of love in case anything ever happened to me. A lovely post and great share, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think this is a fascinating challenge, Erica. (That’s my way of saying I like it, but I probably won’t try it.🤣) I spoke at my mom’s eulogy two years ago. If she were listening, I’d have loved to throw in that bit about being unable to continue because I’ve hit the seventy-five-word limit. The people in the church would have thought I lost my mind, but my mom would have loved it. She had the best sense of humor.

    Your ten lessons are filled with wisdom. I wish I would have discovered #2 (Life’s greatest rewards are often found when I’m feeling uncomfortable and taking risks.) I got there eventually, but I wish I learned this lesson when I was far younger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Pete, I recall meeting you briefly this year and your passion for teaching. I love the title of your book “They Call Me Mom.”

      Writing my own eulogy has never been in my radar, until now. I am hoping it is not a sign of things to come. 😅 Out of my comfort zone, yet I learned a great deal. In retrospect, I would have written it differently. I just now returned from visiting your blog and I have subscribed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to staying connected.🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi sally, Thanks for sharing Erica’s post, it was such an interesting exercise to do and we all learnt a lot from doing it! Erica has created a lovely honest and heartfelt collection in her words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 23rd – 29th August 2020 – Barbra Streisand, Ireland, Houston, Book Reviews, Children’s Books, Health and Laughter | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  7. Thank you, Erica. What a poser…Where to start? Drama: “Farewell, cruel life…” etc., I too would find it difficult to say nice things about myself. And in only 75 words? Joke. You did very well. Even given a longer word count it is difficult. I love so many special people and have been so lucky.Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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