Sometimes the conditions, and not the rider makes the call as to when to stop riding a motorcycle or of living life to a former glory. Hopefully, a tragedy is avoided and lessons are learned but, if not, here is a short tutorial for the uninitiated on writing a eulogy for the rider/friend/relative continuing OTGA (on the great adventure) of life.
The young thinks, I’ll live forever, I still have all those years ahead to do, this, that, and the other things but, the older or those that have experienced a brush with death know better. A eulogy is a speech given at a memorial or a funeral service.
So, if you have the esteemed honor of delivering one, or volunteer; I want you to be prepared to do it in a way that celebrates the persons life. No formalities please. Like most things in life it’s always preferable to prepare for and write it down. One never knows when emotions and tears will begin to swell inside you, that you never thought would come, suddenly arrive.
What family and friends want to hear is the riders brief history, his career choice in life and some highlights of his achievements. Start with that. Remember that funerals are for the living not for the dead. And also learn from the dead. Did they live a life that you envied, what would you have changed? Did they stash too many acorns away for the future , only to let their bounty of plenty or years of youth get away.
How to get started. “Trawlercat was a family man, survived by (list family members starting with spouse, then work your way down to grand children. Humor always works to lighten up the moment at this point. You need humor or human interest stories. No one needs to be taken so seriously now that they are the departed.
How a person died makes a difference. And so does how they lived! Accidentally, world wide plague, illness, old age is more common now however, try sticking to the how they lived their life to the fullest parts.
“Yes life is unpredictable but, we are always given opportunities to make redeeming decisions before moving on to the unpredictability of the winding roads of life, your friend “Trawlercat” seized the opportunity and never let it go.”
Remember the Heinlein equation for a life lived: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”
~ Robert Anson Heinlein
Can we master everything? Not a chance. Life is way too short for that. Did we try? Did we think of challenges as opportunities while living and learned new skills as life progressed or did we continually fall behind and stopped living decades ago?
Are we of the type that if the bathtub stops draining, do we try YouTube before we drop $100 on a plumber? YouTube, technology what’s that? How much do we do for ourselves before seeking help?
The competent man, more often than not, is written without explaining how he achieved his wide range of skills and abilities. When the now departed was young, what is the explanation as to how they acquired so many skills in life?
Hard worker or hard player or both. Keep it sincere. Try capturing what at the time will be a complex, a colorful and hopefully rich life lived. Speak from the heart.
The way to live a long time? —Me thinks its a cross between the way a child or dog does it and the way I do it now. Give the future enough thought to be ready for it—but, don’t worry about it.
Live each day as if you were to die next sunrise. Then face each day as a new day and live it. And never think about the past or keep revisiting it. If you do, go on a Camino walk or really, really long hike. No regrets, ever.
Trawlercat “A Life Well Lived”