What Will People Say When You Die?

Recently there was a death in my wife’s family. Bless her heart, she didn’t take it as well as I am sure she hoped she would. Death is a complicated matter. We like to think we are prepared for it, but I’m not sure we ever truly are. The realness of the matter just doesn’t seem to set in until it is real. Then, the wealth of emotions that come along with it. It’s a lot of emotional stress at once. You think about the life that the person that has passed, has left behind. You think about all the people in their life, and how they are taking it. But what will they say at your funeral? How will the life you lived be remembered by those who know you?

 I am someone that typically will skip the funeral, mostly because I don’t deal with other people’s emotions very well. I don’t know how they want to be supported. What is really the right thing to say? Some might see that as selfish, but we all cope with things differently. And I feel this is the best way for me to keep at bay, my emotional stress. For support of my wife, however, I chose to attend the funeral. It was beautiful. It was put together very well, and the people there, were as nice as could be. To me, this typically speaks to the type of person the deceased was.

 I had never met the woman they were honoring on this day. I had only heard my wife speak of her throughout the years of our relationship. She would share stories from when she was a kid and visiting. She would speak on how grateful and caring this woman was. I never heard her say one bad thing about her. It was clear to me; this woman had touched my wife in a way that stuck with her. The pastor, who led the funeral, spoke so eloquently on the life this woman lead. She was a devoted member of the church, and she sacrificed her personal time to give to others. This woman was strong in her beliefs, and didn’t seem to waver from them. To these people attending, she was a beautiful person, inside and out. This all got me thinking, what would people say about me?

 People who know me, have known me through various times in my life. Whether I was a child in elementary, on through buying a home. The changes and progressions in my life vary so widely, I doubt any two people know me the same. One thing is for sure, I am a son, a brother, a husband, and a father. These things are facts. But everyone that has an opinion, will view them all differently. So, it really depends on who you ask.

 I have not always had a direction in life. I was a child that experienced heartache and pain very early on. I didn’t feel there was much meaning. And as a child, it is difficult to make sense of things that are just so foreign. As I grew older, interacted with more people, and spoke out more, I started to recognize who I was. Though this has varied a little throughout my life, I started to have direction.

 Caring about people and helping them is something that I hold close. I experienced so many people that barely knew me, extend a helping hand throughout my life. They didn’t have too, but they did. I took a lot of it for granted. I screwed some people over early on, and burned some bridges. I tended to run from my problems, and they just so happened to be trying to help me with them. My conscious got the better part of me, and it still bothers me to this day. Now I have trouble asking for help, because I don’t feel I deserve it. This is an example of people from my past viewing me one way, and people from my present viewing me in another. My past, I feel would say I tended to accept help and run. My more present may say I am a prideful person that doesn’t typically ask for help.

 So, I sit here, I ask myself this question. What will people say about me when I am gone? I hope people say I was caring, I was mindful of other people, I tried to be a great father and husband. I hope they also say I worked hard and took care of my family. I want to be remembered as a great friend that would do anything in his power to help someone out. These are the things I strive for daily. I am a flawed person, and typically make mistakes. But I still try. I won’t be saying these things about myself, that is for everyone else. What will people say about you?


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