Things were silent in these parts yesterday for a very good reason. I was up and on the road quite early to head for Austin, where I had the privilege of delivering the eulogy I’d written for my young cousin, Whitney’s, memorial.

My daughter, Emmie, went with me (Kevin and Maddie stayed behind to attend to some barn issues), and after the service was over, she said to me,

“Can you outlive me so you can write my eulogy?”

After a quick reminder that parents are not supposed to outlive their children (and a sobering one, given our reason for being there at the time), she said,

“Well, can you just write my eulogy now, you know, how my life is supposed to go, so I can just follow it and when the time comes the eulogy will apply?”

We laughed, and moved on, visiting with relatives and then heading back out on the road, but I kept thinking about it. I shouldn’t be the one to pre-write my daughter’s eulogy, as it would be projecting my own dreams for her to follow. Shouldn’t she be the one to write it?

I’ve read articles about “how would write your own obituary?” But there is a difference between an obit and a eulogy. Obituaries typically read through a person’s accomplishments, by whom they are survived or preceded in death, and information about their upcoming funeral service. If you wrote your own, you’d be focusing on the things you’d like to achieve. However, a eulogy is different. While it does usually still include achievements, it details a lot about the person themselves. What were their hallmark attributes? What are the most important things the writer wants the audience to remember?

When I sat down to write Whitney’s, it was looking back over what I knew about her life, and how she’d impacted those around her, including me. But, if Emmie wrote her own, or if I wrote mine, it would be taking a looking forward.

Writing our own eulogy, well before the fact, would be a blueprint for living.

Would we follow it, you and I? If we wrote our own, and gave it to the executors of our estates with explicit instructions to use for our funerals, would it cause us to live differently? I think it would have to. Knowing that a room full of people you love would be listening to what you’ve written, I, at least, would want to make darn sure it was all true.

The fact of the matter is that we all do write our eulogies out every day by the choices we make. Do you like the way yours reads? If not, maybe today’s a good day to start a second draft. Oh, and if you’d like some good suggestions, there’s another Blueprint For Living readily available (and there’s a little gem plucked straight from it’s pages written below to get you started).

Pick it up and start writing your best life.


So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. ~ Colossians 3:12-17 MSG