EARNING MY EULOGY

This posting is dedicated to JAMES JOSEPH BUJNO.

Although I never met Jim, (his sister, Sandy, is my friend), I learned some things about him as his friends and family paid tribute at his memorial service on Saturday, April 21st.

I looked at the photograph collages displayed at his service and it was clear that he was a man who was full of life. His smile was huge and his spirit, even larger; there was just no denying it. Picture after picture, he was surrounded by smiling friends and family. I suspect he was greatly responsible for those happy faces, as I couldn’t help but grin as I looked at them.

I learned that he was a really good man who loved life and having fun. He loved shooting pool, bowling, golfing, riding his motorcycle, dirt bikes, and hunting, boating, snowmobiling, and playing video games. He loved watching hockey and the Red Wings. Someone named the things he loved to do. I remember, it was like, everything. Wow, the guy knew how to live. He was a wonderful son, brother, father, and uncle, and he had A LOT of friends.

Every time one of them reminisced about him, they smiled. Even as their tears flowed . . .

What a testament to a man.

I sat, reflecting on the crowded room of tearful, smiling, grieving faces, and thought about the man who had brought them all together and how they honored him.

Anyone would be so lucky to be remembered that way . . . but not everyone would be so deserving of it. It is obvious that he was.

And so, this remarkable man whom I never met has inspired this week’s blog. He brought me to a place I needed to revisit.

This one’s for you, Jimmy Bujno, a man who lived life well.

EARNING MY EULOGY

I sat at a funeral recently and was profoundly touched at the sight of those in mourning. What honor they bestowed upon their loved one with their presence, words, and tears.

I’ve given many eulogies over the years. Too many times I’ve stood at the podium singing the praises of someone I had loved and lost. At times I wondered who would be left to sing for me. And when I looked around, it broke my heart; there was no one.

I had to take a close look at why. And then I needed to climb the steep steps to change. I needed to make some important adjustments in ME and the way I was behaving and living. And I had to learn to be a better friend. And I am learning; because I have some pretty amazing girlfriends who teach me by example every day.

Now, I’m pretty sure, there would be someone to say a kind word or two on my behalf after I’m gone.

A friend jokingly told me that she was working on the photo collage for her “someday funeral” NOW because she didn’t trust her sons to pick out her best, most flattering pictures. Although we mused over this, it got me to thinking.

NOW IS THE TIME to create the memories and live the experiences that are reflected in those wonderful photograph collages. And NOW IS THE TIME to become the person worthy of the eulogy that I would want spoken in my honor.

But I had to wonder, “How would I be remembered?”

Upon reflection, these are the words that I would want spoken:

“Julia was a kind and compassionate Christian woman who helped people and animals humbly and without expectation. Through her writing she shared her greatest weaknesses and joys in an effort to comfort, share, and show a new perspective. She was honest, brave, and passionate. She strived to be a better person, lived life to the fullest; made us laugh, and was well-loved. She was a good friend.”

Just as my friend gathers the pictures she hopes will be displayed at her own memorial service one day, I will strive to live my life NOW in a way that will earn me these words LATER.

We determine how we are to be remembered.

Tell me, what do you want your eulogy to say?

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Categories: Family, Friends, Grief/Healing, Inspiration/Motivation | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “EARNING MY EULOGY

  1. Glen Denis

    No gathering, no sadness, no tears of sorrow, my only request is that where ever you are at the hour of, to hoist a drink and remember that I lived, love and was the best I could be, shed that tear in happiness, and live your life knowing that I live mine..

    • What a lovely thought, Glen. Thank you for reading and sharing that with me. Hopefully we will hoist a drink together before that time comes. We will have to make sure of it, my friend! xoxo

  2. Reblogged this on Journey with Julia and commented:

    UPDATE TO MY BLOG: Including a dedication to JAMES JOSEPH BUJNO, who passed away recently in a motorcycle accident. In his honor, we ask that as you drive around this summer, PLEASE TAKE EXTRA SPECIAL CARE TO WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES! Thank you. xoxo ♥

  3. Mary Wloch

    Very touching and thought provoking! You’ve left your mark on my heart once again!

  4. Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts, Mary. This one has left me feeling quite humbled by it all. xoxo

  5. Lynn Gardner

    Sandy has to read this, what a wonderful tribute to her brother. I knew him when he was about three to age fifteen and lost touch with the family til I met him again at his mom’s funeral in the mid eighties. I regret not seeing him again because I now know he had grown up to be a good father and friend to many, RIP Jim…..Love Lynn

    • I emailed this to Sandy. She said they liked it. I am always hesitant regarding these things because it’s a fine line between honoring someone and infringing on the family’s privacy. But they were pleased and that was wonderful to hear. I’m sorry I never had the opportunity to meet him and know him. It was truly my loss. Thanks for reading, Lynn. xoxo

  6. Dear Julia, your words that you want to be spoken reflects you as I know you so far. One point is not true yet: “lived life to the fullest”…the world and the life has so many great things to offer…and that is the reason why I wish you long life with luck, success and good health and grap all good opportunities with both hands and enjoy it to the fullest. If you have doubts, then remember your President with: “Yes we can”! All the best to you and my warmest regards Alfred

    • Thank you, Alfred. “Lived life to the fullest” is what I hope they are truthfully able to say in my eulogy. I hope that I’m brave enough to grab all the opportunities in life and make the best of them. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words. My Warmest Regards to you, my friend. xoxo

  7. Gosh, this is a powerful post, Julia. I, too, need to work at being a better friend. I used to have students in my writing class write their own obituaries–an exercise along similar lines. I love what you have articulated for your eulogyl I’m afraid I would have to think more about it, before I could articulate what I’d want mine to include. Great post, my friend.
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Thank you so much, Kathryn. It’s a bit intense to sit down and list the things that you would want to be remembered for. It’s remarkable the priorities that are revealed and the things that just don’t seem important. I’m sure I could’ve re-thought this over and over again (which I’m a master at doing!). Thank goodness I didn’t! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and to leave a note for me. Hugs right back at ya, girlfriend! xoxo

  8. Rob

    Again, Nice job Julia. You are a kind and compassionate Christian woman…who humbly cares for humans and animals in a humble and simple way. Yet, your words are powerful and profound. You are living life and touching others by your perspective and your ability to say what needs to be said in a beautiful way. No need to wait for a funeral to hear at least a few kind words.

    • Oh, Robert, what a wonderful comment! Thank you so much! Now that I’ve written my eulogy…. all I have to do is fulfill it! I’m working on it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely note. You’re so thoughtful and sweet. Blessings to you, my dear friend. xoxo

  9. debbk78

    I sure hope his sister reads your post. What beautiful words! Your words are very thought provoking and sure make all of us think of how we live our life.

    • Thank you, Deb. Yes, I emailed his sister and she liked the piece. That means the world to me. Thank you so much for reading and giving thought to my words. I really appreciate it so very much. Take good care! xoxo

  10. From my perspective, it looks like you’re making the most of your “dash”.
    I’m glad I am able to have a small part in your “dash” 🙂

    • You have made my dash SHINE! And I’m striving to fill that dash with as much wonderful life “stuff” as I can! My girlfriends are teaching me well. And you, of course, have made such a difference in my life. You not only teach by example every single day of your life, you bring warm friendship, family, and joy to everyone you touch….and I thank you for that! xoxo

  11. Marie Konczalski

    Wow Julia. That is an amazing piece. Very thought provoking. Thanks for once again putting the important stuff out there for us to ponder.

    • Thank you very much, Marie. I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave such a thoughtful note. It means the world to me and helps me to fulfill the words I want to be remembered with. You have been one of the friends who have taught me wonderful things by her example. Thank you for that. xoxo

  12. Desiree Mate

    Just beautiful! However i do hope you will be here for a very long time:) xoxoxo

  13. Thanks, Des. Thing is, none of us ever knows, so I want to earn a few good words! Thanks for reading, girlfriend! xoxo

  14. Once again you give a thought provoking insight into life. We all need to live with the end in mind. I truly believe people will think of you the way you hope. It is how I think of you. I am so very sad for the Bujno family. Sandy and I were friends a long time ago when I first moved to Grosse Ile and I am very sad for her loss. As for me, I hope that I am remembered as the woman who wanted to make a change in the world, one kid at a time.

  15. The Bujno family has suffered a severe loss indeed. My heart aches for them. And as for you, my friend, you are well on your way to accomplishing your goal of changing the world one kid at a time. You do that through your tireless efforts as an attorney, Marine mom, mother, and friend. I find you to be an amazing woman and am proud to know you. Thanks for reading, Kim! Take good care! xoxo

  16. Bruce A. Knerr

    I surely appreciate how you observe everything Julia. And you do write about it in style which is some thing I have come to expect from you. Learning is every thing and you have learned how to do that so for that I say Thank You!

    • Thank you, Bruce. I appreciate your kind words and your taking the time to leave them for me. Take good care! xo Julia

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