I read this quote recently that said something along the lines of “treat everyone you meet like it’s their last day on Earth.” And I really love the saying. Can you imagine if we really treated people like they were dying and today was it? The end of their existence? I would probably answer all of my mother’s 700 phone calls. I would probably call my own kids 700 times. I have been trying to do that lately- treat people like they are dying, not calling my kids 700 times. I’ve always been pretty accepting and patient to begin with so it hasn’t been such a hard task for me but there are times when I run into someone and I think, “if you don’t stop doing (whatever annoying thing), it may very well be your last day on Earth.” But then I remember I’m a pacifist and I just smile a big toothy grin and move on. Just think of how much longer we would hold that hug if it was someone’s last day here or how many more words would we decide to say?
My friends and I were talking about dying recently and my friend Crystal wanted to know what her funeral would be like, so just for fun, I wrote her eulogy. It went a little something like this:
Here lies Crystal. A great mom and a great friend. Life is so ironic. Who would have thought she would have died by getting caught up in three balls of yarn while making gloves for homeless people in July? She’s probably sitting in purgatory right now with her diet coke and rum waiting on the train hoping we have prayed her on it.
Then she told us to leave her in purgatory for a while if there was rum and diet coke, so I guess we will do that, because what are friends for?
But in all seriousness, it would go more like this in real life (this is in no way an attempt to make my friend cry on a Monday morning nor is it an attempt to move up my position in her best friends list, but if it works, that’s cool too).
After I threw myself on her open casket and noticed that her make up was perfect and she looked super skinny, her eulogy would be something like this:
Here lies Crystal. A great mom, a great wife, and a great friend. She always did everything for everybody and never took any time for herself. I’m not sure if she knows that she was part of the dynamic duo that talked me into going back to college and getting my degree. Without her, there’s a very good chance I would still be at McDonald’s making drunken Sunday morning biscuits and wishing she was still there to throw bags of food at me. And even though she used to make jokes about my three kids by three different dads to make herself feel better, she was the one who always made me feel better. Her dry humor was always appreciated, especially when it was at inopportune moments. I will never forget her. Those twenty years flew by. If only we had taken more time to fly. To fly to Florida to see our friend Liz. And to fly to Chicago to see strippers again. I’ll miss her. I miss her already.
Or it would look very similar to that. And then we would all head to the front of the church for some wine.
If I died, I think people would probably only remember me by my keen ability to use other people’s quotes at the most opportune times. For instance, everybody at my funeral would be standing around the bar because I’d be sitting on the bar in my urn because I’d be cremated and they’d be taking shots and saying, “Let’s all just take a moment to remember Angie’s Auntie Jannette’s advice and ‘go ahead and cry, you’ll piss less’ and let’s do that.” Or “Remember when that African told Angie that time she was attempting to smuggle a hundred pounds of marijuana from California to Michigan that ‘sometimes disappointments are a blessing’ when her car broke down and she ended up taking a greyhound home? It’s ok that she’s dead, maybe it’s a blessing.”
Or some psychiatrist friend of mine would show up with all of these blogs and tell you what my deep dark psychosis really was and that you are all lucky I didn’t have some sort of “episode” that landed me in a fancy white jacket that buttons in the back. But think about it. Really. Think about all the people you associate with every day from the person who sells you your morning must have coffee to the last person you see everyday, which is probably yourself in the mirror, and imagine if you treated all those people just a little better because today could be their last day. So maybe today, let’s be nice to each other. Call your friend. Call your mom. Call your sister. Call your brother. Call your fifth grade teacher if you need to. Call that ex that you miss.
Actually, forget that last one, they are your ex for a reason. No need to raise the dead.
But you get the point. This life is short. A hundred years still wouldn’t be enough for me to tell the ones I love, how much I love them. So if you are reading this…. I love you. Thank you for being amazing, wonderful, caring, genuine people. Thank you for being my friends (even if we haven’t officially met yet).