A very dear friend of mine died in 2011 after a long struggle with Scleroderma, “a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases.” In recent years, her condition rapidly worsened and she had other health problems as well. In the last several weeks, she was in a lot of pain, so at least now the pain is gone and she can rest peacefully. But wow, she is gone way too soon.
Susie and I were childhood friends and playmates. As we grew up and I moved away, we stayed in touch, wrote each other letters and silly postcards, talked about boys and dating and much more. She was a devoted wife and mother of three, and even a grandmother. She was a gourmet cook and she loved to laugh. She was a very loving and generous person, and I consider myself very lucky to have had her in my life. Everyone who knew her feels that way.
When someone your own age dies young, it can shock you into remembering your own mortality. We’re all going to die sometime. What if I didn’t live to be a spry old woman? What if I was in an accident and died tomorrow? What is my legacy? What have I yet to do on this Earth before I return to dust?
As Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said over a hundred years ago – “alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them.” What contributions to the world have I yet to make? What stories have I yet to share? What songs have I yet to sing? I have so much more that I want to do and I “better get cracking” before it’s too late. That’s one of the things Susie’s death makes me remember. I want to make sure that I have given out everything that I have to give to the world, before it’s my turn to rest.
Have you thought about what your obituary will say? Are you ready for it to be written? How do you want to be remembered? Now is a good time to start thinking about that – and making sure that you’re on your way to making it true.
If you’re interested in reading Susie’s online obituary, it’s at http://www.wolfefuneralhome.com/obituaries/Susan-Crouch-Adams-1029731/#!/Obituary
In lieu of flowers, Susie’s family has suggested that people make donations to the Scleroderma Foundation at http://www.scleroderma.org.