This week’s Master Key journey has taken us to the land of the living and also the land of the dead. Our exercise is to read an obituary each day….specifically from a newspaper, paper based, not on line. There is something quite profound about holding a newspaper in your hands with someone’s picture, life story and family names listed. An on-line version could not ever give the same feeling. Seems Mark J, our Master Key leader and guru knew the differences and made sure our instructions were to by and read a paper based version daily.
It’s interesting as I have read the backgrounds of several people this week, they all seem more or less the same….it’s sad to say. The pictures of course were very different but the few lines and story all seem almost the same…He/she lived here, married or not, had kids or not, did a few things here and there and died, leaving behind him and her and a few others. It made me wonder about the important function the people left behind have in writing an obituary…..how to squeeze everything into a few lines to capture the essence of the person. A tough job for sure. The bits and pieces of one’s life all presented to people just like me to read…all 2 inches by 4 inches, or thereabouts. It made me think back to my parents’ Obits…I most certainly did not do them any justice….with their bits and pieces. Sorry mom & dad….
When I have done workshops with groups, sometimes we have done an exercise where each participant imagines themselves sitting on their front porch swing, at 96 years old. The key to the envisioning is that the 96 year old is surrounded by all the people that crossed their path over the years and each person gathered is sharing a story or tribute about the 96 year old…something that stood out for the person about this centre of attention participant, after almost their whole life has passed by. The questions is….what would you want to hear from the people who crossed your path along your journey? With that in mind the workshop participants begin to think more specifically of what kind of life they want to lead so they can have the kinds of stories around their own porch swing some day…and of course surrounded by the many people who shared in some way or another. It’s a challenging exercise because no one (usually no one) wants to imagine themselves at the very near end of life. Yet the exercise ends with a more purposeful next step from this day forward, which of course is what Master Key class is all about for us taking this class challenge.
What will those gathered on and around your porch swing say about your impact on them? Join me in imagining, then join me in creating the remainder of our lives to make it a most proud 96 year old moment.
Here’s a real irony….we say, or we read, or have printed on someone else’s behalf….in an obit…Rest in Peace. How sad we say that after someone has passed away and not every day of their living lives….rest in peace is a true goal for any of us to have…daily….being at rest with peace in our hearts. Resting in Peace now till 96, or longer….perhaps that is a worthwhile goal of goals.
As you read this, my wish for you is to Rest in Peace today…and tomorrow…and the next day…and as many days as you shall have. Bless you.