OBITUARY: Emily Krings

First and foremost, I am not dead so please do not call my mom and offer your condolences (although, if you want to send some flowers or food and donate money to a worthy cause in my name, feel free to do so!)

I am not dead but if I was, you would probably say lots of nice things about me, even if you hated me and thought I was the nastiest thing to exist.  If we talked a couple of times in high school or middle school, you might make a sappy Facebook post in hopes of getting some likes and attention.  If I killed myself, my family would become advocates for suicide prevention for a few months.  If I was struck by a drunk driver, my friends would sign petitions to never drive under the influence, but pick up the bottle to drown their sorrows.

People would be upset over my death for a short period of time, but would fail to celebrate the accomplishments of my life.  I have often thought of what would be said in my obituary or eulogy, not because I wish to die but simply because I wonder what impact I have truly made on my time here on Earth.

Of course, I want people to say nice things about me when I die and can no longer represent myself, but I want the words to be genuine.  I want to be described by words such as kind, helpful, and inspiring. I want to positively touch as many people as I can in my lifetime.  I want to change lives and act as a positive role model to the people I encounter.

If I do not live as much of my life as intentionally and adventurously as possible, I will be filled with regret when faced with death.  I will be honest, I do often catch myself slipping away from living my best life possible, but I am human and I am flawed.  I try my hardest to try new things and take on new challenges, not necessarily as a way to inspire others or make a positive impact on others, but to help me achieve a life of minimal regrets.

How would it feel if the nicest thing your loved ones can say in your eulogy is “she was always really well dressed” or “he drove such a nice car”?  To the people of this world who value material things and appearances over being a source of love and joy to others, please consider your choices and know that they will not be fulfilling at the end of the day.  I can almost guarantee you that when you are old and gray (or maybe even young and unexpecting), and you are lying in a hospital bed surrounding with those that you love, knowing that your heart only has the capacity to pump for a little longer, you will not be looking back on life and thinking about if you wore nice make up or had the most expensive shoes.  You will be thinking about all of the great things that you did (or didn’t) do with your limited time here on Earth.  You will be thinking about the times when you let your hair down, jumped in the river, and experienced life to the fullest.  You will be thinking of the people who meant the most to you.  You will be thinking about the legacy you will leave by the impact that you have made on every life that you have touched.

Stop sweating the insignificant things that distract you from what is truly important.  It is okay if your freshly straightened hair gets wet or you ruin your new shoes. Take the jump.



    1. I have often thought the thoughts you have expressed. I know not everyone knows me in the same way as someone else. At funerals, I find out people are a lot greater then I knew them. At my dad’s funeral I learned he was a much greater man then I knew. He was such a great contribution to other. I saw that in my life but did not know his circle of generosity was so large. I have seen that in other funerals I have gone to. Funerals do offer the opportunity for us to see the greatness of ones life as we collectively share our experience of this one special person, Life is short in the scheme of eternity. So always do your best with God’s purpose for your life. Then… that is a life worth living!

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  1. You have such a way of expressing how you feel.. If people would open their hearts and let others know how you feel about them . It seems like these days everyone is so rapped up in trying to get ahead of others, that the fine print never gets to be told. I bought a book in my travels just called “believe” with quotes from Mother Theresa and others. I have to say more than one reminded me of you. Definitely has reasons that each have a purpose in life. I would love to send you a quote each day and hear you how it applies to your life. We all need to ” say it forward” and not wait til it’s too late.

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  2. Interesting, I remember reading Stephen Covey a long while back and one of the things that most struck me was his “Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind”, he actually encourages you to write your own eulogy!

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  3. How Ironic this is. My husband and I were literally just talking about this, how it isn’t fair to say such nice things when you didn’t like the person!

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    1. Exactly! I got the thought after the death of a person closely related to me when I realized that even though he had many horrible values (racism being a main one) everybody praised him as a great guy even though his good qualities barely balanced the bad.


  4. OK I’m glad it’s not just me who does this. I often imagine what I would like people to say about me, not because I’m morbid, but because I think it helps me focus on what’s important and helps me make choices every day in order to become the kind of person that fits my hoped-for description!

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