Imagine being honored by the many who have known us, and listening to their heartfelt expressions of how much we have meant to them. Envision taking that same opportunity to let others know how much we’ve been impacted by their lives, and the influence they have had on us as well.
This happened for my stepmother, when many of her closest friends congregated together to celebrate her birthday, and at the same time, pay homage to her life.
One by one, each person got in front of the microphone and relayed some funny and poignant tales of personal experiences they had with her.
- They described the way she lived
- The way she let others know they were loved
- What she meant to them personally
She not only got to hear how much she was loved but was able return their sentiments with her own appreciation for them too. When it was her turn to take her place at the microphone; no one could have known that four months later she would not be with us anymore.
Therefore, it was especially significant that she got to hear her loved ones illuminating testimonials while she was still alive to enjoy it. It was a beautiful moment in time for all who attended, and a wonderful celebration that most people don’t get to experience in their lifetime. What a special gift that her lifelong friends provided for her, and for themselves.
Birthdays, and other special occasions are an ideal opportunity to turn a traditional celebratory party into a good-natured “roast” or special tribute. Even presenting one carefully thought out speech from a collective group, and beautifully framing the written copy of it, would make a wonderful gift.
So often, the years go by so fast, and we never get around to thanking the people we care about for being the wonderful person that they are, or celebrating our own good qualities as well.
With that in mind, ponder the following questions as you visualize someone throwing a tribute party for you:
- What would you want your loved ones to say?
- How would you want them to describe you?
- Who would you want in attendance, and what would you want to tell them?
- What kind of impact would it have on how you live your life today?
This can be a very informative exercise for highlighting whom and what we value, while assessing any changes we’d like to make, or appreciation we’d like to share.
Begin contemplating and writing down the answers to the questions posed above.