This week, the US will reach 100k official deaths from Covid-19. There are probably many more, as our means of counting has not been consistent. Spain has struggled from this too. But today the NY Times used their front page, and still more space inside, listing names of some of those who have passed from this disease from across the country – pulled from obituaries in hometown newspapers. They each included one line about that person’s life. Who they were to the people whose lives they touched.
Jeff first told me about it and I went out to see it for myself. They couldn’t fit all 100k names in their Sunday edition. There isn’t enough paper. But for those that were included, it struck me the power of that one line. And it got us both thinking about how we would hope to be described. How would we want our lives summed up in a paragraph or two? And who would we want to write it?
This moment in history has so many of us taking stock. Rethinking what we do on a daily basis. How we treat ourselves, each other, and the planet. I am still doing my daily meditation and my personal mantras. But this moment – as we all begin to emerge into this new world – is an opportunity to do something different.
So, today I did another exercise that seems a bit creepy, but a necessary one. As I think about how I want to conduct the remainder of my life. Writing my own obituary. If I want to orient myself towards a North Star, I need to truly define it and state it plainly. My abundance meditation has been about attracting what I want. But this is about giving what I want to give out into the world. What will endure after I’m gone – and my part in it? And my own aspirational obituary was an interesting read. If I’m honest, some of what I’d like to be known for isn’t how I’ve been living my life, and some changes need to be made.
So many of us know people who have passed from this virus. The names listed in the NY Times are not exhaustive. But each of these people had something to contribute the world. And many did, in ways big and small. Famous or not. But one is no more important than another. On this Memorial Day weekend in the US, I can think of no better way to honor them, than to look at ourselves and make some much needed adjustments. And there is no time to waste.