Monday, August 28, 2017

Writing your Eulogy and your Won't

As I was traveling to my book talk this past weekend, I had a thought:

Ms. Vespucci, beloved Florentine

"When's the best time to write your eulogy?"

It sounds like a morbid thought, but bear with me.

If it's true that we live many lifetimes, if it's true that we come back here to the planet by choice, and not by force, karma or a willy nilly sense of humor....

If what people say about the flipside is true - that we come here for a reason, we choose our lifetimes for a reason, we come to learn and teach lessons (usually about "love" or the "loss of love" or "unconditional love"):

Why not think about your eulogy?

You know, that thing that they're going to read at your funeral (if you're lucky.) That thing they're going to put in the paper about you (if you're lucky.)  Think about the LONG VERSION instead of the version most of your family members will print because it costs so dang much per word.

Let's offer two options: 
1. You write the dang thing yourself. 
or 2. Someone else writes it for you.

What is it going to say?

A list of accomplishments?  Often.   
A list of things that you did for others? Perhaps.

A list of all the junk you own or purchased?  Never.

Save that for the will.  Go ahead, you've thought about your will, even if you've never written one - everyone tells you "write your will now because it's a pain in the ass later!" - this is true.  I've seen it, witnessed it, been around the horn with it - and if you don't leave a will - you'll leave a "won't."  

As in - no one will do anything that you thought they would about what you thought you wanted. They'll do whatever they think you wanted but aren't really sure because you forgot to write it down.  So think of your "will" as your "won't."  As in "I don't want you to do this with my stuff!!!"

Got it?

Write your won't.

Now let's write your eulogy, shall we?

(Oh, you forgot. There's two options. You write it or someone else will write it.  So if you're going to let me write it, I will.  If you want to write it, fine - you don't have to physically write it, but you gotta think about it.)


By Dear Reader of the Blog.

"Hi.  I'm speaking to you from the afterlife.  It was an odd event when I crossed over.  Odd because I thought for sure "I'm going to die!!!" and then... I didn't die. I just crossed over.  Because... well... I don't know how to put it to you any other way; there is no death.  We don't die.  We just move from here... to there."

Now if you're someone who chose to move from here to there - perhaps you're someone who thought that "death" might be a way to nirvana, or happiness, or heaven... I've got some bad news for you.

We don't die.  
SAY WHAT? Everyone in this foto is no longer on the planet.
They're not dead. They're just not here.

So you can't kill the thing you wanted to kill, which is yourself.  So if you're thinking about it - hang on - you can't do it.  Because you aren't making the problems easier, or better, more fun, or happier.  You just aren't doing anything at all except stopping yourself from having the chance to experience life.

Let me recap. You signed a contract. You agreed to come here. You even agreed to stay here "until the bitter end" because that's what people do.  They sign up to "experience it all."  You think by cheating, by breaking your word, breaking the contract, you're going to make it easier on yourself.  Au contraire.

It's not because the devil is waiting for you. It's not because you've done a bad bad thing, committed a sin... although that's accurate - you've sinned against yourself.  You've cheated yourself of all that work!  all that effort! all those people who conspired to get you here! to help you learn the lessons!!!  And the first people you're going to run into on the flipside are all those folks you let down.

And they're not going to be happy with you.  And you won't be happy with you either.  Sure... you'll eventually "get over it" - but it's going to be really hard for anyone to take you seriously again... for anyone to believe you when you ask to sign up for another lifetime.  "But I'll do better this time! I promise! I won't DO IT AGAIN!" 

Yeah, yeah, sure you won't. Tell that to all the people you made upset, miserable, unhappy. We forgive you, but oy, don't ask us to all help you when times get tough.

But I digress.

It's an inevitable question people ask - "If it's true I chose this lifetime, then why is it so difficult?"  

Well - look to the theater for the answer. What play have you ever sat through - fell asleep in - where he didn't ask "why is this so boring?"  "Why isn't anything happening?"  "I paid a fortune for these tickets and nothing is going on!!!"  

Remember, we have audience members too - keep it interesting. Keep it lively.  Enjoy the show, not only because you signed up to perform, but because everyone you ever loved is watching you perform. As I heard from a famous film director currently on the flipside: "No one comes to this side wishing they held back more during their lifetime."

There are a number of "life planning" transcripts in this book.

In Hacking the Afterlife, I include transcripts from a number of "life planning sessions."

Back to eulogizing.

What is your eulogy going to sound like?  

As I'm trying to point out - your eulogy should be just as entertaining as your life.  "He jumped!  He tried! He flew with angels!  He fell and crashed and burned! He laughed at misery!  He joked with tragedy! He sword fought with bad guys, chastised the good guys who were lazy, he screamed his lungs out!"

"She never gave up."  "She was knocked off her feet numerous times, she got back up, dusted her self off, and went back in there, swinging."  "She fought hard, she fought well, and never, ever lost her sense of humor!"  "She made people weep at the sound of her voice, she made children laugh and pine for her presence, she made everyone who met her fall in love with her."

Her maiden name was Cattaneo. She married the map making brother
of the guy America is named after.

While I was researching "the DeMedicis" project I sold to HBO some years ago, (they made "Rome" instead) I came across an entry about Simonetta Vespucci.  

She was the model for "The Birth of Venus" and was one of the most beloved people in Florence.  They said of her "She was envied by no one, but she was loved by everyone.  Men and women both fell in love with her, and her generous spirit." 

She died at the age of 21 from pneumonia.  The entire city turned out for her funeral - but Sandro Botticelli immortalized her.  Here we are 500 years after her death, talking about her.  Marveling at her portrait - in "The Birth of Spring" and "The Birth of Venus" and many other canvases.  

She really lived, she was really loved.  She only lived to 21, but her spirit carries on.  Because of her eulogy?  No, of course not, but because of her enduring qualities. Her beauty? Certainly. But Sandro also captured an "essence of who she was."  A physical eulogy if you will.

Simonetta's "Birth of Venus" was a wedding gift and reportedly
was hung over the Medici wedding bed. She was reported to be the love of Giuliano De Medici, who appears with her in "Spring."

So what are your enduring qualities?

Look back over your life.  What age did you first have a conscious thought that you might be doing the kind of work you're doing? (As noted in my books, I once asked an FBI agent this question and she said "In preschool. I kept lists on everyone!")

Think about those moments in your life where you had some clarity.  Someone showed up that you felt like you'd known forever.  The moment you realized that the significant other in your life was someone "you'd know forever."  Think of the moment you first realized "She/He's the one."
A short eulogy.

It's in there - people remember the stories of their life, but they forget the "epic moments of them." Some people remember these moments with clarity, others, I have to fish it out of them.  "Go back to that moment when you really, really knew that he or she was the person you were going to spend a significant amount of time with."

In those moments we see a glimpse of our "life planning session." We all have them, we all have been through them - some of us might have decided to come back to the planet on a whim, because "all our friends were coming" - but most of us, have a planning session where we work out the details.  "Who's who in the zoo" so to speak.

My grandfather's medal - the Legion of Honor.
Haven't a clue why he won it.
But he does.
Don't believe me? 

I reprint a number of them in "Hacking the Afterlife."  I've accessed my own a number of times. Each time I do it comes in more clearly - who was there, what was said, what was promised, what my intent was (and hopefully still is.)

If your eulogy was only two words, what would they be?

"She loved baseball"  

Okay. That's pretty funny. That's enough for her family and loved ones.  I guess some might wonder "And she disliked everything else?"  But that's up to Effa's family.  (great name - "Effa B. Manley"- fun repeating it at the DMV, I'm sure.)

Don't forget you're going to have a number of Eulogies, you're also going to write a number of "Won'ts" -- you're going to write them for friends, loved ones, for yourself - many times.  Not just here this time, but for the next time you choose to come back.  

Cemeteries - a bunch of physical eulogies.

A eulogy should be an attempt to find the theme in your life.  

What is it?  Then, if you're taking the advanced class - what's the theme over a number of your lives?  What's the theme that your soul group is working on?  Once you become aware of that, it's helps clarify why you'e on the planet.

Why you agreed to come to the planet.

Why you're here and who you're here to help.

Finally, think of the music you'd like to be played at your funeral. 

What's the musical theme of your lifetime? What's the music you think would most remind folks of you, and what you represented while you were here?  Make a note of it somewhere for someone to find.  "At my funeral I'd like people to hear...."

Whatever it is.  

(Here's mine...  although I doubt many would stick around for the 120 minutes. Maybe that's a good way to thin out the crowd. When I was in college I wrote a paper on how Beethoven's 9th was a metaphor for the four stages of life - how each movement represented what youth, middle age, old age and then spiritual reflection meant... and finally the last glorious journey into Shiller's poem.... Which gets me every time - almost like a physical example of what it's like to cross over - it seemed like an apt musical eulogy for my own life, though I doubt whoever's around will remember that I wanted the entire symphony to be played live, in full... and let that be the memory of me.  Oh well, It's here, ain't it?)

Write your eulogy like you mean it - like it will guide you through the rest of your days here on the planet. 

 Make it mean something, make it fun, make people happy who come across it.

"He laughed."

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