The depth in finality

| Erick Rommel | August 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

funeral_umbrellaWe all look to others for insight and guidance. Sometimes we find it through the words of our family and friends. And sometimes, we seek meaning from the words of those we only know from a distance.

Over time, I’ve come to realize that I find deep meaning in moments of significant challenge. Sometimes, those words come from real life. At other times, they come from books or television or theater. No matter where they originate, the words that stay with me come from a place of truth.

Knowing how I feel about words and their meaning, it probably comes as no surprise that I immediately purchased the book “Famous Last Words” as soon as I found it at a local bookstore.

Thumbing through it, I saw a wide range of sentiments from optimistic (“I’ve never felt better,” Douglas Fairbanks) to fearful (“God, don’t let me die. I have so much to do,” Huey Long) to amazingly self-aware (“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something,” Pancho Villa).

In each instance, the words expressed more about the person who said them than I thought possible. In reading the book, I realized those words have importance, not because they were final but because, in many cases, they provided a better life summary than any biography.

Ida Straus stayed on the Titanic rather than leave her husband behind. Her words, “We have been together 40 years, and we will not separate now,” speak eloquently of their love and devotion.

We don’t know when we’ll speak our last words. But if our words in the days, weeks, months and years leading up to that final statement aren’t indicative of how we wish to be remembered, those last words will make little impact.

We remember people because the way they lived is worth remembering.

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Category: From Age to Age