A friend of mine recently died from cancer. Although I did not have too much to do with him on a regular basis outside being my client at work, him being my doctor when I was sick, him becoming a neighbour when I bought the house, and meeting him a few times at the local choir, he was the kind of person that you can't help call a friend. If you spoke to him for no more than a minute, you'd consider him a life long friend.
His children made some wonderful speeches about how wonderful their father was.
Then came a co-worker. And the theme of co-workers were work. And I balked inside. Because they were not talking about his passion, but about work. "He was a good worker. He loved to work. He did a lot of overtime. He cared about work."
Those words. "Work." So much more could have been said. This man was a physician. He had a passion for people and helping them stay well and treating them when they were sick. He made personal contact with his patients, he truly cared, and that was his drive, his passion.
And somehow, this was boiled down to "he was a good worker who happily accepted a lot of overtime when necessary."
There was a whole bunch of them present. I see them as the "work mafia." Because what seems important to them is the idea that you work hard, not the content of your work, not your passion for your work. Which makes me think that I need a will that bans the words "work", "job" and "labour" in my funeral.
While I have a passion for the things I do for a living, I do those things because I have a passion for it. Not because it is a job. I take pride in the results of my work. It is my personal achievement. And I think this is how people deserve to be remembered - their passions. Their drive. The things that truly defined them.
That's what his children did. And that's why their speeches were so memorable.