Like it or not, people die. At some point, we may even get the chance to consider our own deaths. In the case of my quirky friend, Barry, I believe he sees his death as a final act of fractious behavior, a flipping of the bird at the rest of us old folks at home. “Deal with it. I’m outta here.”
He is currently planning his final garage sale. Sifting through the debris of his past, he is picking out pay-dirt that others will surely desire: the wolf-head neckerchief holder he wore as a boy scout back in the Dark Ages, his collection of ‘lovable loser’ baseball cards from the 1977 Chicago Cubs, swell things like that.
We got to talking about the other kind of stuff you leave between, the less material stuff. When you die, who is the invisible YOU that will stick in the minds of the people who knew you? What will they be, the items in your Cosmic Garage Sale?
Is there a personality trait you’d like people to recall when someone mentions your name? My sister would like to be remembered as ‘open to possibilities.’ I hope to be remembered as ‘generous.’ What would please you the most?
It might be nice to have your personage be remembered for a particular act. Like The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (although I think that requires having a good lyricist close at hand). Or maybe you’d like something more personal: to be the name-in-the-blank when people recall, “Remember what a great time it was when ol’ ____ … “
Of course, you can sweep a lot of debris into your Cosmic Garage Sale, as well. Your feelings of guilt or shame or embarrassment or failure. Stick that garbage in the to-go pile today. No one else will want it either since they already have plenty of their own. But how freeing to dump your emotional trash before you yourself are recycled.
Okay, back to attractive attributes. Humorous, kind, compassionate, instructive. My advice is to start acting on your desired quality now if you have a hope in hell of this ethereal trait outlasting your corporeal crate in the minds of others. It’s never too soon to start filling your Cosmic Garage Sale.
Note: I’m speaking to decent folk here with normal aspirations. I realize a few of you might be budding Hannibal Lectors or Mr. Hydes. If so, keep your crazy crap to yourself. Meanwhile, the rest of us will start a GoFundMe to buy you a ticket off the Olympic Peninsula to anywhere but here.
See? That’s me, being generous.
Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors and author of the new historical novel Fog Coast Runaway, available on amazon.com, at lindabmyers.com, or at local retailers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook.com/lindabmyers.author.