A dear friend of ours lies in the hospital in critical condition as I write this. I’ll spare you the details other than mentioning he’s in a coma as the result of complications following what should have been routine surgery. As the hours and days crawl by, we continue to hope, but thoughts of the other possibility keep nudging their way into awareness.
“This sounds like a journal entry. I thought this was a blog about Lifestory Writing,” I hear some of you thinking. You’re so right. That previous paragraph is a sort of journal entry. But it does tie in with lifestory writing. We’ve known this man and his family for a third of a century. Though we’ve always lived a considerable distance apart, we’ve visited each other, traveled together, and shared many fine adventures. However, I have never written any stories featuring this friend and his family.
Today I realize that whether now or later, those adventures will come to an end. When the time comes, as it must, what would be more comforting to his surviving family than a story or few about our times together, and what they meant to us? This is a double-win situation. They’ll have the stories, and we’ll also have them. Naturally I shall set about writing something right way, and hope I have years to edit it.
Taking this thought one step further, I realize that over my lifetime I’ve had dozens of friends and Very Special People touch my life in various ways, but I haven’t featured more than a couple in stories. I’m not anticipating that any of them will die soon. In fact, I wouldn’t even know where to find most of them today. But they deserve a tribute — a tribute that will be fun to share now with the ones I can still find, and a tribute their families may appreciate later.
Writing this tribute will be a pleasure for me, even if no one else ever reads it. I’ll remember our fine times together, and feel joy again in the memory of their presence.
What about you? Have you written stories about special people beyond the circle of your family? Have you written any tribute stories that you shared with families? If your best friend died tomorrow, would you have something on hand that you could read at a memorial service, or send to the family?
Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal