WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE IN YOUR OWN EULOGY?

As I am writing this, uncontrollable tears keep pouring from my eyes. Sadness. Very powerful emotion. I have just spent the last week not really being my joyful self. I am grieving. Death is part of life. It happens to all of us. My favourite uncle passed away. I know it is a blessing as he had been sick and physically disabled for almost two decades and yet, profound sadness keeps flowing through me. I got thinking. Why do some people really impact our lives? What differentiates them from everyone else that we know? What made my uncle so special? What exactly makes me so sad?

I want this post today to be a tribute to my uncle’s brilliance. However, before talking about my uncle, I would like to give you some value for reading this. You can certainly learn from my uncle, but let’s be honest, you did not necessarily know him, so why would you read this?

So let me start by sharing something very personal with you: After taking some time to honour my uncles’ memory, writing what I would say about him, about everything he represented to me, my mind slowly started to wonder… what would my own eulogy sound like?

So I did start to write. I drafted my own eulogy. Just like we all do, when we lose someone we are close to. We project the emotions. I recommend you take a moment to do the same. It is such a profound experience. Ask yourself what you would write in your own life description? What do you want to be remembered for? And then ask yourself what actions you will take in order to become that person you want to be remembered.

So, how would I be remembered? My own answer to this question really affected me. If I passed today, and if I was writing my own eulogy, it would probably say something like:

“She was a hard worker. Nathalie P. was always working. She was constantly writing a book or preparing her speaking engagements, her sessions with her clients, 7 days a week. She did not take time to spend with her loved ones on a regular basis. She was thriving when she was influencing thousands in a room or one-on-one in her office. She was an expert marketer, an entrepreneur building an empire. She took some holidays 3 times a year and the rest of the time, she was working. She loved her work and she felt like she was making a difference. The people ‘following’ her were thankful for all her time invested in them (or were they?) and yet, she was so busy that she was sometimes forgetting her close friends’ birthdays. She was not going for coffee with the gang on Saturday mornings because she was working, she was teaching most nights of the week. She felt guilty when she was not working and she brought her laptop with her on holidays. She was, more often than not, choosing work over spending time with her own husband, the most wonderful man in the world…..”

Enough said.. You get the point right? I need to re-write this and commit to a different future. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am happy. Genuinely. Or I truly thought I was. Somehow, I have been so focused on my work in the past 4 or 5 years that I have forgotten how fun it is to enjoy ‘wasting time’. Just be. Just sit and relax. Find opportunities to spend time with my friends and still continue to feel the passion I feel for my work. My life purpose is to help people discover that they are Awesome and to live their full potential. As long as I was operating from this purpose, I was truly happy and driven. I still have to make a few modifications to the way I spend my days. I have already started to say yes to more fun things. I don’t think I will change my whole routine, I will simply make a few adjustments that will make sure I incorporate precious time in my schedule for spontaneity and fun and specially time with my husband. I need to start changing the sound of this eulogy. I am committing to becoming more like my uncle was. He was really invested in people. I too want to be remembered for someone who has been there for people around. Not for the person that wasn’t there and that was successful but always working.

Now back to my amazing uncle. Marcel R. Plamondon. How did my uncle contribute to my life and how will my future be affected? What opportunity is now given to me? When you lose someone, ask yourself: What does this powerful experience teach you? What positive learning can you take away? What are you getting and what is now taken away? What void will our world without him create? And not just for me: for everyone that he has influenced, his homeland that he has served and protected.

In the shadow, he has been a mentor and counsellor for thousands of people. He was an expert in politics, deputy member of the Nationale Assemblee in the seventies. To use the words of Mr Vincent Caron, he had a brilliant mind, jealously defending his homeland Patrimoine. To describe his journey is like opening a history book of Portneuf.

He has been a mentor and counsellor for thousands of people. Not only for his close and extended family, he was an example of generosity and courage. Even in the past years of his life, when his body was shutting down, he continued to look proud and tall. His brilliant mind made us forget that he was no longer the strong and tall man that he once was, growing up on a farm, eldest of seven. I remember as a little girl to always be hypnotized by his large hands, so agile on the accordion – as he had formed a band with his siblings – and later on, on a computer keyboard and an iPad. He was a pro with new technology, always the one in the family teaching everyone about the new thing out there: Internet!!!! He taught us how to create a website, the first one with the new gadgets, he even, later in life had a special USB key that you could plug from an iPhone to an iPad to transfer docs and pictures. For the first time in my life, just this past December 2018, I actually was the one to teach him how ‘airdrop’ was now doing the same thing without using a USB key. I am not sure if he knew or not, but he pretended to be learning something, maybe so that it would make me feel good to be the one teach the Master something! He was such an humble man.

He was an expert in politics, deputy member of the Nationale Assemblee in the seventies. To use the words of Mr Vincent Caron, he had a brilliant mind, jealously defending his homeland Patrimoine. To describe his journey is like opening a history book of Portneuf. Him and my aunt Aline Girard-Plamondon both shared, amongst so many other things, this passion for history. They even collected articles that my grandfather used to write in the local newspaper – newspaper that he initially had helped my mother launch in Saint-Raymond – to create a books series from his father Rosaire D. Plamondon. I remember writing the Foreword to one of these books.

Even if his accomplishments are too numerous to name here, like the fact that he founded the insurance cabinet PMT and initiated the county community television, it is not simply what he did that will be remembered. Quebec is better for having him as part of his citizens. His memory and experience will continue through all of us that he has touched because of who he was, not because of what title he had or what he did.

Mainly, he was interested. He CARED. He was invested in knowing more about us. He was curious and would make sure to research all the topics of interest of his close ones in order to better discuss with them. He was truly interested in people. He is leaving behind 4 children who all have very different backgrounds and areas of interests and yet, he was becoming an expert at each of these areas, just so he could be there for them and entertain long conversations about what mattered to them. He did the same with me. He was following my career closely and he was a real cheerleader. He was the Man with a capital “M” (like my cousin likes to say) that all of us kept looking up to and turn towards for advice and wisdom. He was strong and inspired respect because he was just and fair. He was proud of us and receiving his pride, was the best trophy you could get!

He has lived, fully and he has gifted his time to lift us up to the very last minute. He always thought about others and made sure everyone would be okay. I have always been inspired by his passion for us, his family. Family was one of his highest values.

Dear uncle, I can already feel your energy protecting us. I will continue to make you proud by keeping our family tight and somehow, walk in your steps to preserve our lineage of Plamondon. Je vous aime mononcle. Goodbye.

Even if his accomplishments are too numerous to name here, like the fact that he founded the insurance cabinet PMT and initiated the county community television, it is not simply what he did that will be remembered. Quebec is better for having him as part of his citizens. His memory and experience will continue through all of us that he has touched because of who he was, not because of what title he had or what he did.

Mainly, he was interested. He CARED. He was invested in knowing more about us. He was curious and would make sure to research all the topics of interest of his close ones in order to better discuss with them. He was truly interested in people. He is leaving behind 4 children who all have very different backgrounds and areas of interests and yet, he was becoming an expert at each of these areas, just so he could be there for them and entertain long conversations about what mattered to them. He did the same with me. He was following my career closely and he was a real cheerleader. He was the Man with a capital “M” (like my cousin likes to say) that all of us kept looking up to and turn towards for advice and wisdom. He was strong and inspired respect because he was just and fair.

He has lived, fully and he has gifted his time to lift us up to the very last minute. He always thought about others and made sure everyone would be okay. I have always been inspired by his passion for us, his family. Family was one of his highest values.

Dear uncle, I can already feel your energy protecting us. I will continue to make you proud by keeping our family tight and somehow, walk in your steps to preserve our lineage of Plamondon. Je vous aime mononcle. Goodbye.

Nathalie

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