Sometimes the most touching bit of writing we'll do will not be what we ourselves write, but what we inspire others to write. I'm sure you've heard of the idea of writing an obituary and living up to it, right? The thought of what kind of person do you want to become?
Not being the type of person that sits and reads the obituaries, I haven't read as many as some, but I have had several occasions this past year to read them, especially this week. I've read two. Both of them were sincere, and written by family members. One was a little simpler than the other. One was for a colleague, or boss rather, and the other for a family member of my husband. The colleagues obit was full of all the things he accomplished, positions held, places taught, etc. The family one outlined a little what she did, but mostly what she loved and what they loved about her. While the first one also had some of those points in it, it came across as more of the professional feeling.
My own obit has been something I've avoided thinking about unless specifically asked to do so. Yes, I'd like to have wonderful things thought and said about me, but I'm not sure what my children are apt to say. My patriarchal blessing says they'll rise up and call me blessed. Well, in looking at my kids right now, it's not likely the majority of them feel that way. In fact, one of them would probably not claim me as the mother.
So, perhaps in the scheme of things as you're writing your greatest novel, you might give some thought as to what will be written about you some day. When you're not here to defend yourself, or explain anything. It's going to be what others think of you, whether you like it or not.
I'd rather like mine, personally, and so I'm working on it. What about you?