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  • Kitty Edwards

What's Your Story

“Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?"

~ Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

I had the good fortune to be in San Francisco last month to see Hamilton the musical. What an experience! I still have the music swirling in my thoughts throughout the day. The play is based on the life of Alexander Hamilton who was killed in a duel at the age of 47. His wife Eliza Hamilton spent the rest of her life trying to tell his story.

The musical reminded me that we rarely have the opportunity to shape the narrative of our lives after we are gone.

When I ask folks what they want for their own funeral they often say, “It doesn’t matter. I won’t be there.” However, it might matter to those who will plan, orchestrate and attend your celebration of life. It is my experience that family and friends may not be able to tell your story successfully.

Recently, I asked my husband who he would ask to help him create a memorial service for me. His answers surprised me. He chose old friends who do not know what is most important to me. These folks, while helpful, would not get the story right. I realized that it would be a loving kindness to sketch out some ideas for a ceremony to honor myself.

Does it make you uncomfortable to think about your own funeral ceremony?

I get that, but don’t you want to have the opportunity to acknowledge those who have encouraged, supported and loved you? Think of it as accepting an award for a wonderful life. Since you cannot be there, you ask someone to take the stage to accept the award for you and give the speech you would have given.

In the past few months, we have worked together to complete our Advance Care Directives, Medical Power of Attorney, Organ Donation Form, and a Declaration of Disposition of Last Remains. This month’s workbook will guide you through the needed steps to plan your end-of-life ceremony and celebration.

Are you ready to tell your story?

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