NEW CASTLE —
What’s the one thing you’d like others to remember about you at the end of your life?
I've had my funeral song picked out for as long as I can remember. Well, I guess I should say my wake song, since that's what I want instead of a funeral.
Sounds morbid, right? But I'm a notorious pre-planner, and let's face it, my wake is going to be the biggest shindig of my life. And Green Day's "Time of Your Life" would have been the perfect background song for the touching yet funny slideshow that will be playing while my loved ones pass around Chinese dumplings and reminisce about my crazy antics.
That song was the undefeated champion until I heard Anna Kendrick singing "When I’m Gone."
"I got my ticket for the long way round
Two bottles of whiskey for the way."
Well, it certainly has been the long way round, that's for sure. And I don't drink, but I certainly do like things that take the edge off. If you need a few nips of the hard stuff to let your true self out, I'm OK with that. As long as you don't get fall-down drunk and make a fool of yourself.
"And I sure would like some sweet company
And I'm leaving tomorrow, what do you say?"
If there's one thing that anyone knows about me, it's that I love some sweet company. My whole life has been one long power play to make as many connections as I can.
I love people. I love having people around me. Yeah, I get mad and I drive myself crazy trying to figure out why people hurt other people and why they do the terrible things they do, but if you're a good person, and you love me even a teeny, tiny, little bit, I love-love-love your sweet company.
"When I'm gone, when I'm gone
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.
You're gonna miss me by my hair
You're gonna miss me everywhere.
Oh, you're gonna miss me when I'm gone."
And there it is. The one thing I want others to remember about me at the end of my life. Except it isn't really a "thing" per se.
Was she kind? Was she funny? Was she generous? All great "things," for sure. And things that I do hope people remember about me.
But mostly, I just want to be missed. Not because I want anyone to feel bad. That's definitely not the point.
I want to be missed because it would mean that I brought something worth missing into the lives of other people. It would mean that something was there that people enjoyed or valued that I brought just by being there. It would mean that I meant something.
The days that I regret the most are the ones in which I was so wrapped up in some sort of ridiculous drama or busyness that I just wasn't present with the people who were in the same room with me, especially my kids. Looking back, I realized that they must have missed me then, with me right there in the very same room with them, the way I realized each night that I missed them because I hadn't really been with them at all.
That's not the way you want people to miss you. Not at all. Because the paradox is, if people miss you now, while you're still here — they just won't miss you when you're gone.
Anna Kendrick sings ‘When I’m Gone’ from the film ‘Pitch Perfect.’