The Dash

I attended a client’s funeral this afternoon. She would be 97 on Tuesday. Shortly after the service we went to the grave side. I was staring at all the tombstones. All those folks and the stories I will never know. I know her birth date and her death date. It occurred to me I didn’t really know much of her dash…that lifeline between those dates. I saw pictures of her youth…her segments of small history. But, I didn’t really know her dash. Her dementia didn’t allow for stories to be coherent at times. I had to really add to them in my mind.

I stood there, cold and teary, thinking of my dash. I want my dash to be full of adventure and laughter. I want my dash to be strong but kind. I want to make sure my dash is long lasting and full of delicious stories.

Every time I enter a facility to visit an elderly person I will make it a point to learn more of their dashes. I have to take time and sit with their her/histories. I must make it a point to learn from those dashes and the spaces in between the birth and death.

How will you live your dash? How will you want to be remembered? I want to make sure I don’t forget that I am making my own story every second. I want the words “to be continued” after my death date…and a heart instead of a dash.

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