Among the many preparations for my mother’s funeral last week, I was responsible for collecting and scanning photos to create a video of her life. I also volunteered to deliver her eulogy, a presentation and a farewell for a long life well lived.
Not everything I collected was used. Both the video and the eulogy were heavily edited by me, not because my mother lived a scandalous life, but because some things were private.
Some folks sent pictures that out of context were no longer funny. Some things that happened in her ninety years on earth were not for display.
All of this makes me aware of how I have lived my own life. Some things were not of my choosing and also not for public display.
My maternal grandmother once told me one should have no regrets at the end of the journey on this earth. I asked her how one accomplishes that, and she said, “Forgiveness.” Forgive yourself and the other person. Life is full of mistakes, but instead of dwelling on them, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on.
Here are some autobiographical writing prompts. They dwell on the positives in our lives. Use them as a guide as you move toward a life with no regrets.
1. Who did you love most and why?
2. What are your best accomplishments and why?
3. What are your best characteristics/the best things about you?
4. What were the best days of your life and why?
5. Who were your best and truest friends and why?
6. Who are/were the people who made the most difference in your life?
7. For what would you like to be remembered?
8. Make a list of “firsts,” firsts that shaped you into the person you are today:
first kiss, first car, first love, first encounter with death, first moment you realized you were now an adult, first heart break, first disappointment, first . . ..