Your Last Message

by Randy Murray on July 19, 2012

This is more advice to myself than to anyone else.

Of all the things that we carry, the bits and pieces that help to get us through the day, I sometimes wonder what the people who are required to sift through these things think about us when one of us is struck down in the course of daily life. What sense, what meaning, do they take from the things that we carry in our pockets, in our bags? What do these things tell them about us, who we are, who we cared for?

And what responsibility do each of us have to these people who must sort through our pockets and lives?

I’ve been think recently about this, not a morbid dwelling on death, but what the contents of our pockets might say, not just to the strangers who are tasked with dealing with these events, but to our families and loved ones. What sense can they make of the bits of string and nubs of pencils that we end up carrying around? What messages and meaning will they be looking for?

Perhaps we should be better prepared. We can tell those around us that we love them as often as possible, but what last message would you leave? What could you carry with you to tell them one last time? What could you leave that would be tangible, physical, lasting?

I’ve been thinking about this. I haven’t written any messages yet, but I plan on doing it soon. I think that a short message, perhaps at the back of my Field Notes memo book, updated and revised with each fresh book I place in my pocket, will help me focus on what is really important in my life and what I want my loved ones to know, really know.

Yes, they’ve heard me say it, but to see it in writing, and fully final, might mean something more. I plan on living a great, long while. It’s my hope that at the end of this very long life that those who remain will find a library full of these messages, notes, and instructions. Last messages enough to last a lifetime.

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