Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Memorial

My family and I (meaning me, my sister, mom, dad and brother) went to a memorial service on Saturday in Maine. It was for a family friend who once lived in our first neighborhood in Acton, MA and then relocated to Ogunquit, ME where we summered for years. Basically, I have known this family for most of my years. The mom is very artistic and has painted me bowls and knit me and my kids' sweaters and our Christmas stockings. I even got dressed on my wedding day in their house. It was the father that died suddenly, who the service was for. He was the one in the family that I knew the least.

Evidently, he did not want any kind of service or any attention drawn to him. Do you find this a selfish request of the deceased? I just think closure is important in a situation such as death and what provides more closure than a wake and/or service? So 2 weeks after he died, the family had this luncheon, memorial service for him. It was very thoughtful and many aspects of his life were well documented in the speeches that the people chosen gave. I actually learned a lot about him that I never knew. He played football in HS and College. I never saw him out of khakis and loafers. He sent people he loved newspaper articles (he read 6 papers a day!) and he never wanted presents on his birthday or Christmas, just cards.

So my brother writes a Monday question every week to a list of people that has grown into the 100's. It started with just his family and a few friends and has grown over the last 7 or so years to hundreds of "friends". He writes a question, we answer and he gives the results on Tuesday evening. Yesterday he spoke of the memorial service and how he had learned a lot, too. Then he asked,

"There were other things, but the point being, we all do so many things that others don't know about, and instead of hearing about them at your funeral, let's hear about them now.

Ok, gimme one, or two, or heck three things that we don't know about you, or that you think is particularly unique, or that you are over-the-top consistent with."

This has caused me to think (a lot). It eebs me out to think of what people would say at my funeral, but it made me curious to think what would be said. So the things that might be said about me are

"She ate plain M&Ms with a vengence. It's no wonder the girl wasn't 300lbs."

"She definitely did NOT throw like a girl."

"She was a sucker when it came to buying pens: permanent, ball point, colored, markers, paint pens and pencils. She had QUITE a collection!"

Anyway, it is/was weird to think about my mortality and I really don't want to be revisiting this topic for at least 50 more years. However, I will now turn the question on you.

Ok, gimme one, or two, or heck three things that we don't know about you, or that you think is particularly unique, or that you are over-the-top consistent with."

11 comments:

J-Hi said...

This is a tough one Sue... I will have to get back to you on this:) It is hard to look at yourself and wonder how people view you. I am so hard on myself I look at the negative more then the positive. I guess I have to view myself differently.

Tara R. said...

My dad told me once that he would haunt me if we held a funeral for him. He wanted a memorial party. He wants to be celebrated and not mourned.

I would have to think about this one too. I'm not very consistent with anything. I'm known for how much I read and how much I hate being late. But I don't think either of those is eulogy worthy.

Heather said...

I love these questions. Me, I want people to have a party. I don't want anyone to be sad, well, that sounds wrong, I know people will be sad, but I want them to be happy too, to remember the good times.

Hmm, 3 things that are consistent about me?

-I can always be found with a pen & paper, and if I don't, I write bits and pieces on napkins to bring home.

-I was forced to give up chocolate, cheese, merlot, and pickles as a result of my tumor and as a girl, I'm ashamed to admit I miss the pickles more than the chocolate, cheese, and merlot.

-I'm known as the "music girl". You need a song to match your mood? I've got it. You need lyrics and can't think of the best ones? That's me.

:)

xo darlin.

SylviaJoy said...

Sounds like the weekend was a great celebration of life.

Let's see...
1. One of my fave movies of all time is "Zorro, the Gay Blade".

2. I am consistently a list-maker. Always. And I consistently never complete them.

3. I once lost a spelling bee in 8th grade because I spelled "cactus" C-A-T-U-S, and I totally had the "I SO got that right" grin on my face until the teacher said, "I'm sorry, that's incorrect."

Melisa with one S said...

Aww crap. That SylviaJoy chick? That's my mom. :)

I signed her up for an account this morning.

That comment was not from her, it was from ME!!!

surprised mom said...

My Father-in-Law also eschewed a wake and funeral. The family, my mother-in-law, their kids and their spouses and the grandchildren gathered at his gravesite and had our own memorial. It was filled with laughter and tears. We then saw him buried (he had been cremated). Each to his own. A memorial mass and breakfast followed a few weeks later.

Three things:

I am hooked on Dunkin Donuts iced decaf coffee with cream and sugar . . . in any weather.

I am a discouraged perfectionist. In other words, I am the opposite of a neat freak.

I will never have enough photos of my family and friends and frames to put them in.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

How dare you make me think so early? Hmmm...

*I was BORN a minimalst, I will DIE a minamalist. Yet, I can't have enough designer handbags.

*I am the most annoyingly perky, wake up with a huge smile on my face, can't get the day started fast enough, life is too short to dawdle kind of gal. Everyone hates me in the morning.

*I have lost a close family member to murder and have a very close family member that lives with someone else'd heart in his chest. Because of these things, see above.

Hallie

Kaylen said...

My mom, sisters and I have discussed this before and we are all having big celebration parties, with lots of music, videos, pictures, stories, and amazing food. We will have the best parties of our lives-at our death party.
I wonder what people will say about me....good question.
I hope they won't say that Kaylen ate so many peanut m&m's with kettle corn and cherry coke that she really was getting close to 300 lbs! (true)
I hope they will say:
Kaylen volunteered about 100 hrs a year to causes she was in noway connected to, because she saw a need and had to help.
Kaylen got pregnant at 18, but matured at light-speed and was an amazing mom.
Kaylen was a horrible singer, but never gave up singing as a way to express her feelings (much to her teen son's chagrin).

Rebecca said...

Visiting (trying to anyway) all of the Secret Santa Soiree Participants (better late than never, right?)!

This is a tough one, I don't have many secrets - but I'm with you on the M&Ms, I love 'em; I love to travel, even if I don't do it a lot; and I truly wish that we could all be kind to one another.

Vodka Mom said...

I want a huge party- and everyone has to do a shot of vodka. Unless it's my liver that kills me. Then, shots of water.


Um, let's see:

1. I am always early. I just don't like to be late- it's a pet peeve.
2. I hate to walk on linoleum in my bare feet. Gives me the heebie jeebies.
3. I cannot sit in a room with my back to a large open space. I have to have my back to the wall. Was I murdered in a previous life? Possibly. :-)

Mrs4444 said...

Let's see...at my funeral, I'm afraid someone would mock how much time I spend on the computer, but I would hope people would say, "She made a difference in people's lives." Not really the answer to your question, but it'll do, right?

Have a great week! :)