When I die,
especially if I die a tragic or violent death,
do not memorialize me.
Do not give permanence to the pain.
Do not give the enemy fame.
Do not spend a dime on me
past what I need.
Do not pass on the painful story
to infect a new generation with worry.
Just let the deed die with me,
and instead, don’t live dead.
If you really want to honor me,
dare to dream and move ahead.
Explore, create, and find a way
to really live up to your best self.
And then, if that is not enough,
I know just what I would ask:
Love someone a little more.
Include someone who feels left out.
Share yourself to relieve the suffering or poor.
To honor me,
just help one more.
© 2012 DarEll S. Hoskisson
Posted today as my thoughts are directed toward the memorial service of the police officer recently gunned down by the bombing suspects.
I wrote this last year in response to the controversial cost of the proposed memorial site of 9/11. I mean absolutely no disrespect to those who feel that monuments are worth the costs involved. I also mean no disrespect to anyone violently killed or otherwise who has died. Of course people need to heal however is best for them.
Also, I understand the purpose of educating people to prevent future disasters. My children are exposed for an entire month each year to the horrors of Germany’s concentration camps. This, to me, is complete overkill. You don’t have to know every gory detail to make a better choice.
This poem simply expresses how I feel. If there is to be a monument to me, I hope it would be a living one. A living legacy, would be, to me, the most useful monument of all and perhaps the most meaningful.