Death is the end. Or, is it?
I know it seems morbid to start on this note after a hiatus from blogging but circumstances have compelled me to begin here, at the end. I’ve never written a eulogy for anyone but have always wondered what it took to write one, especially if you’ve been close to the person.
In memoriam pieces have come forth in the form of notes or poetry but much after the person’s demise. A eulogy is very instant but still well thought out, like a series of things you want to hold on to about the person and hope to somehow suspend time by putting it all down for people to hear or read.
Towards the end of March, I’d decided to take a sabbatical from blogging that would last two months and I was almost proud of having made it past one month. Almost.
Until I realised that I missed it and terribly so. What did I miss? The writing, the connecting, the reading, the sharing and pretty much all of it. As I blogged, I found that I wrote more and not just published pieces on the web. I consciously wrote more.
So, it was with some joy that I decided to break this self-imposed fast and resume blogging today. Every intent of mine pointed towards a travelogue of my recent trip (which I will still blog about) but this afternoon , news of a dear blogger’s passing put an abrupt stop to that train of thought.
Broken-hearted at the news I shared a short note, expressing my grief that she was no more and within hours, the outpouring of condolences on her wall was incredible. People she had touched through her words, her kindness, her indefatigable spirit, her zest to learn, her empathy with others, her need to teach- each post spoke so warmly of her that it was positively stupendous to see the reach that she had garnered through blogging.
And when I say reach, I mean the kind that touches a part of your soul that awakens goodness and kindness and everything in between.
Of course, we never speak ill of the dead but this did get me thinking, ‘What will people say of me, if I am gone tomorrow?’
Will they remember the things that matter? Will they speak of the values that I tried to bring forth? Will my friends speak unfailingly of me?
Or will it all crumble into oblivion, like the indistinguishable grains of sand on a very vast beach?
Before social media took over a large part of my professional life, I was the quiet one, invisible, unobtrusive and known only to my very close friends. While my online persona may say otherwise that hasn’t changed drastically in essence, although you’d think otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media is great! It bridges distances, brings people together, forges bonds and allows us to share our stories.
But social media, while connecting us has also brought out a dark side to our personalities- the need to be validated, to be liked, to be appreciated for the things we do.
The things we do- not who we are.
There lies the difference between a résumé and a eulogy, as evidenced beautifully in this short video by Arianna Huffington.
So, today, think about all the things that you leave behind and if you are a writer or a blogger, that includes everything you’ve ever written. Tomorrow, you may take your last breath. Your blogs will live forever. What do you want people to stumble upon, long after you are gone?
What do you want to be remembered for?
What will your eulogy say about you?