I’ve been to three funerals just this month. A friend. A mother of a friend. And the husband of a friend. Each close enough to my heart to cause me to drop tears and suffer the passing. Inevitably, I found out from their obituaries something that I did not know about them. Something unique and marvelous. Things I wished I had known about their lives, their families, or their work.
If I had known, I would have asked questions and paid close attention to the answers. I would have thanked them for being who they were and doing what they did for themselves, for me, for their families, or even for the world.
It’s too late for those three and the many others before them whose final days revealed something new to me. So I say to the people whose lives are intertwined with mine, tell me now. Tell me now that you took gourmet cooking classes. That you wrote 76 songs. That you were married before and had a lung removed. Tell me now. I don’t want to find out at your funeral that you knew five languages or drove across the country with a stranger and a three-legged dog. I don’t want to be surprised by what you did. What I didn’t know. Tell me now so that when I read it in your obituary, I can say, “Oh yes. I knew that. I knew it all.”
I don’t want another friend to die without me knowing all about them. I don’t want another eulogy to reveal anything new to me. So I say to my friends and loved ones, with the time we have, let’s stop and tarry awhile. Let’s share stories and create memories. I will tell you about the way my spaces and breaths and footsteps shape the world around me then take a sip of tea. Then you, with cup in hand, will tell me the same. Now.