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One Sentence

    

Published 2018-01-25


 One Sentence


Claire Booth Luce once said to President John F Kennedy, “A great person is one sentence, you’ve got a paragraph and that doesn’t work.” The great presidents could be described in one sentence, Lincoln: “He preserved the Union and freed the slaves,” FDR: “He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war.” “Awesome sentences,” she said, but then she asked Kennedy, “What’s your sentence?” What a great question!

When I first started doing funerals I was afraid that it would be impossible to capture up a person’s life in just a few minutes. Of course it is hard to give full due to a life which spans over 80 years. But I learned that most of the time, if I get out of the way, the spirit of the person is there at the funeral. I don’t mean in any kind of spooky way, but simply that everyone comes with a memory and listens to recognize something of the person they knew and loved. I have found my job to be simply to listen as the family and friends talk about the person and help them remember and celebrate that same person at the funeral. It is amazing to me how often a central theme arises which describes the person in just a few words. In other words, everyone has a sentence, whether we realize it or not.

What is the sentence that describes who you are? What is the sen-tence that describes who you are becoming? 50 years after you are gone how will people describe you in a few words? He was a man who… She was a woman who…If a sentence seems too steep a hill to climb I would suggest starting with just a few words. What are some words that describe your life? What are some words others would use in describing you to someone else? “Compassionate,” “stubborn,” “honest,” “funny,” “faithful,” “loving,” “hardworking?”

Peace+
Jim




Blog Archives

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