I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's Your Story?

Today I had the unfortunate experience of attending a funeral - a friend of mine recently lost her Dad in an unexpected way. When I heard about it, I didn't hesitate to make sure I would go to the funeral, even though I didn't know him all that well. As DH reminded me, I got immense comfort out of my friends during that difficult time in my life ... and so it stands to reason there was never any question of me going, no matter how much my heart ached to see a friend in the same situation as I was.

At my age, I thankfully haven't had to go to many funerals. In fact I think including this one, I've maybe been to 4, and three of those were Jewish ones. So I didn't know what to expect, and I found myself really moved by the whole event. Many family members and friends came up to speak, and most of them did a short re-cap of the person's life. This was different to my past experience because I'd only ever heard people talk about the person rather than the events. So, I had heard a lot of"Mrs X was a lovely person who loved to knit" rather than, "And in 1989, Mrs X went to Blah Blah University. And in 1991, etc etc." I actually learned quite a bit about this man, all of which was interesting and painted a picture of someone for whom family, love and working with his hands were all a joy. I found myself totally drawn into the story of this man's life. A story which, previously, I had only known very small snippets of.

As I was listening to these people share their stories, my mind wandered a bit to the people I know and love, and I found myself wondering what their stories would be. Or, in fact, what MY story would be. I don't think this is morbid - it just tied in with my recent wondering about the higher purpose of my life. When all is said and done - what will people say about me? Heck, what would I WANT them to say about me, assuming I could have some way of hearing it? Would I want them to talk about my life's timeline? Would I want them to talk about the person I am? Or would it be some mixture of the two?

Today's experience also reminded me that everyone does, indeed, have a story worth telling. I think even the people with the most (seemingly) mundane lives will also leave behind some sort of story..and while it might not be colourful and punctuated with humour and excitement, it's still a story worth telling. We - people - are all really just a collection of stories.

What's the story you want told?


the baker's wife said...

Whilst at my second funeral for the week (!) I had time to contemplate this question. This is because by comparison, todays memorial was not quite as concise and punchy as my Dad's. At all. I think the poor bereaved husband mentioned every person the deceased had ever had contact with. Only because he had time to think and plan for this day, and by nature (and training) he is a methodical and thorough person. But we didn't get much of a story in the end.

The Baker and I have always joked that we may not have any money but we have some great stories to tell our kids (tales of how the hell we spent so much money, with nothing to show for it..). However, many of my Dad's stories didn't come out until after he died, so the lesson is to tell your stories before it's too late.

And look out for the secret ones, stories that are known only to a select group. My Dad had all these 'secret men's business' stories (of larrikins fishing and shooting) that are now only known to a handful of people, none of whom are in his immediate family. These tales are not necessarily for the general public, so what of them? Should they be told on his passing, or are they just for those who were there at the time?

At the moment I feel like my story goes 'She was here, she was Capricorn so she worked all the time and by god, she whinged that she was tired a lot.' That is certainly my kids version of my life to date. Perhaps time to get a story creat'n and make sure they have something to tell.....

Oh, and this week has shocked and prompted me into getting my own affairs in order if only to prevent Celine Dion being played over my coffin. Because even that will not happen over my dead body.

emzeegee & the hungry three said...

TBW - getting one's affairs in order is something people of our vintage (ha!) don't think about but really should, especially those of us who have kids. So I say bravo to you and the baker for getting that sorted.

..and it's interesting what you say about the hidden stories. In the day and week after my Dad's funeral, no less than a dozen people approached me to tell me how he had helped them - financially, emotionally, by referring clients, whatever. I don't think I had ever set eyes on a single one of them before. My Dad's hidden story was that he acted philanthropically but in a very grass-roots sort of way (but boy would he HATE that description of it!).

My story is still being written, so here's hoping it gets better as one gets further in the story.