We participated in a memorial service for a family member this weekend. It was uplifting and strange. And scary and sobering. The memorial was for a person that hadn't spoken to much of his family for 20-30 years. And only recently, did he start speaking to even some of the family. It made for a fairly disjointed memorial service, because the memories of his life had large gaps in them. No one present was quite sure what he did for a large section of his life. We knew the legal changes in his life, (marriages, births, divorces) but didn't know him as a person during that period. Accomplishments, wishes, dreams and such.
I suppose it feels a little selfish and egocentric to reflect on how someone's death makes you appreciate your life. But, I do. And I hope that when I die, I will have a bunch of friends that will be able to tell stories about me during my memorial. Successes and failures, and even brave or foolish decisions. I hope I can inspire stories that only get discussed when the children have left the room. Stories that cause the story-teller to lower their voice and say things under their breath. That is a life worth living. That is the life I want to die with.