Back in the day, there was an episode of Little House on the Prairie in which one of the townsfolk staged her own death so that her loved ones would finally come visit. She knew they would have to come to her funeral. In disguise, she attended her own wake and listened in on the conversations.
Some of us would love to attend our funeral, while some of us would avoid the experience altogether. But in general, we all desire to be remembered. We want to hear that our life was significant.
Unfortunately, we often delay verbalizing our care for one another. For some reason, it can be easy to express what irritates and bothers us, while affirming what we love is a struggle.
Recently, I had the overwhelming privilege of being publicly blessed by the employees and volunteers of the S.E. Portland Pregnancy Resource Center where I served for the past seven years. I tend to have mixed feelings when a group of people publicly expresses appreciation of me. While I crave thoughtful words, I also fear what might be said, fear what might not be said. All the attention focused on me...
As I was able to sit and hear these incredible women share their appreciation of me, some of my greatest fears and insecurities were relieved. Everything I would desire to hear about myself as a colleague, as a supervisor, and as a friend was expressed. It felt like having the opportunity to attend my own funeral.
This "funeral" experience inspired my decision to write 365 letters. I was so moved by my friends' generous words that I have become compelled to do the same for others.
We mustn't wait until death to affirm others. Life is fleeting, and now is the time to bless. Give everyone the chance to attend their own funeral.