May 5, 2015 admin

EULOGY: Anna Julie Moyle

Eulogy for Anna,

by Anna Julie Moyle 

What does one say about an individual who started life out as one of three?

Her triplet sisters might say she was born with a strong sense of justice which sometimes fed a passionate temper. Her role in the family was to play judge and to determine how to equally share the spoils of family life. She eventually learned to channel that sense of justice into wise decision-making and kept her cool when it mattered most.

What would her husband say about her middle years, when she left her comfortable triad to become a wife and mother?

He might say that her desire for fairness led her to have compassion for all she encountered. Her desire for independence after a crowded childhood made her a responsible adult and citizen, but at times could lead her to overlook the needs and desires of those around her. Marriage and motherhood bound her to others in a way she would have difficulty doing on her own. It helped her see her own life from the vantage point of others, a sometimes painful but sanctifying process.

And what would her children say about her? They might say she was unflappable in times of conflict, difficulty, and uncertainty. Her carefully channeled passion for justice gave her the ability to stand up for her family when called on, but also to call on her family to quell their desires when the needs of others were more pressing. Her lifelong calling to work in communications and serve the church balanced out her roles at home and in the community in such a way that inspired them to also search for calling in their lives. She taught them to think not just about what they wanted to do with their lives, but what needs in the world could use their unique gifts.

My Reflections 

When I sat down to write my eulogy, I tried to think of the threads that have run through my life so far, and how they would manifest themselves down the road. It was no easy task to try to imagine the “future me.” Wasn’t this just another exercise in narcissism, the very thing that the The Road to Character speaks against?
 
But the very act of writing this eulogy took the attention away from me and helped me notice afresh the people who surround me – those whom I see every day, and those with whom I stay in close contact from afar. They are the ones who will stick with me to the end. I realized that in order for this eulogy to be read, someone has to actually be there to read it. It will not be me delivering it; the very nature of a eulogy is that it is what others have to say about the deceased. We don’t do this life alone, and even in our death we depend on others.
 
I came to realize that in 50 years the same threads will have woven their way, however twistingly, through my life: God, family, justice, grace, calling. The past, present, and future me always grasps these threads within community. But their impact doesn’t stop at the edge of my inner circle. They weave beyond my own life into layer upon intricate layer throughout history and around the world in ways that I cannot even see. And so my hope for the “future me” is that self-awareness will always drive me out of myself and look to the needs of my community, society, and the world at large. I think my eulogy reflects that hope.
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