by Christine Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW
Robert Fulghum, author of "Everything
I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," commented that he wrote a
reflective piece once a year. Reminded me of a mission statement. Once in
my masters' program, I had the assignment to write my own eulogy.
Fascinating to reflect looking backwards at how I want my life to be
versus looking ahead. I wonder what it would be like to write my eulogy
once a year. . .
For whatever reason, I pondered this on August 18, 1999 at 1:23 AM. The
following is the result of looking forward to look backward . . . .
If I were to give my own eulogy today in this technological era, I would
videotape the following to be played at my funeral. If not on tape, I
would at least have it read and typed up for distribution. Here's the
"The fact that you are watching me, hearing my words, means that I am
no longer on this earth. I've always had quite the flair for dramatics, or
perhaps better said, the need to orchestrate things in my life - such as
my wedding, the baby showers, births and baptisms of my two beautiful
children, Nicholas and Sarah, even down to which day they would be born. .
. Since all went according to MY plan (Though clearly God has had His hand
in everything), why not create my funeral service and eulogy as well?! For
those that know me, I make no apologies" (The instrumental piece on
Billy Joel's Cold Spring Harbor CD must be played , and perhaps the song
Falling of the Rain. . . gotta check out those words)
Anyway, back to my parting words. "More than anything, I feel blessed
to say that I have loved my life! I have died a very happy and content
woman, with a loving husband and 2 incredibly beautiful children. In the
movie, As Good As It Gets, Melvin told Carol that she made him want to be
a better man - Dave, my husband, has definitely made me want to be a
better woman! I know that who I am is without a doubt due to his presence
in my life.
My life theme has been RECYCLE! I have long told Dave that at my funeral,
there needs to be a red Rumpke recycling bin - it better be there!
My prayer and request for you all is that you recycle - EVERYTHING! I pray
that in your life, you turn your actual and emotional garbage into
something useful, something beneficial to yourself and others.
THE REAL STUFF -- actually recycle plastics, glass, paper, etc; donate
clothes to Goodwill, AMVETS, whomever; pass on furniture and baby
equipment to nieces, nephews, your kids, St. Vincent DePaul - anyone!
CHILDHOOD WOUNDS have made me the therapist I am, or rather, I was - I
have my mom to thank! Today, I do honestly thank her.
RECYCLE ENERGY - give of yourself. Volunteer! My first memories of service
work date back to around age 10 when I sponsored a McDonald's backyard
fair to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, I think. . . I've been
orchestrating ever since! Help others. Do projects. Create a co-op with
friends. For years, Dave and I helped dear friends of ours, Penny and
Gary, work on each other's houses. About 8 times each year, we'd alternate
- fences, attics and storage spaces got built; light outlets were added to
walls; wallpaper torn off, rooms painted and decorated. The list was
endless; no project was too big or too small. We did buttons and bows, and
hammers and nails. Good times with good friends sharing good food,
creating many memorable and productive weekends. Our kids played and
learned from us - what a legacy to pass on!
GRIEF and LOSS that you feel today - recycle it! Feel it, embrace it and
then turn it into something useful, something beneficial and productive
for yourself and others. Don't exist in a vacuum - things die in a vacuum.
LIVE, LOVE, LEARN, RECYCLE - ""Just Do It" as NIKE so
poignantly marketed. For your sake, for your kids sake, for God's sake -
Periodically throughout my life, I told Dave, "I love my life."
Check yourself - Do you love your life?. . . If not, do something
differently, otherwise, you're insane. The Alcoholics Anonymous definition
of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different
results. . . Don't be insane!
As most of you know, I could go on ad naseum. In my final parting words, I
will offer a few of my favorite quotes. . .
"When God closes a door, He opens a window somewhere."
(Maria, from Sound of Music)
"I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
"I believe in love, even when not feeling it."
"I believe in God, even when God is silent."
(Inscription found on a wall of Nazi concentration camp)
"For all that has been, Thanks."
For all that will be, Yes."
Thanks to you all for being along on part of my journey!
See ya in the afterlife!
Dave Turo-Shields (email)
Veteran Psychotherapist, Trainer &
www.Overcoming-Depression.com Sign up for this newsletter by
visiting either site above.
In a few
short days we celebrate Thanksgiving. First, I want to
send grateful thanks to you for being a part of my life.
When I thought about
an article for Thanksgiving, Christine's article on recycling
came immediately to mind. Please enjoy it and have a
grateful Thanksgiving day!
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like
wrapping a gift and not giving it."
case you need a gratitude jump-start here are a few to ponder:
Announcing: Due to
request I am now offering therapy sessions by
telephone. If that fits with your needs, click below to
email me for more information.