I wasn’t looking forward to Diane’s funeral in Vancouver today but the funeral turned out to be rather inspiring, at least as inspiring as a funeral can be. I particularly liked
Diane’s Ten Commandments
1. Humans don’t need to do it all; we need to appreciate it
2. Be fearful of talus slopes; don’t become anxious about
the future. You have no idea what it is.
3. Choose to have children when you are a grown up with
an education, a job, a good mate. So you’re 30 years old.
Good for you.
4. Be mindful of your ancestors. Know as much about
them as you can. They got you this far. Try not to screw
it up for your progeny.
5. When things get rough, practice meditation. Ten
breaths in and out in any position will bring you back to
6. Near the end of your rope, try imagining yourself
floating comfortably slightly elevated in the air or in water,
supported by everything and everyone good you have ever
known. With all that help, you will get through the crisis.
7. I also use imagery from my past of one of the most
beautiful memories I have. It is of the Willamette River in
the fall, with the leaves of the cottonwoods changing the
water and the air to gold. The water sparkles, the trees
shimmer. I hear only birdsong.
8. When things get rougher, ask yourself, “How are you
right now?” Chances are you are okay right now. Go with
it. If you are really not okay and in pain, ask for a pill.
9. When in crisis, graciously accept everyone’s help. If
your devout Catholic friend wants to send you prayers,
acknowledge them. If your priest wants to visit and talk,
have the conversation without being confrontational. As I
told the girls in the hospital, having Christian friends is as
good as having neighbors with swimming pools.
10. No one is getting out of this life alive. Some of us now
realize that better than we once did.
-from her journal entry of June 26, 2005, written while receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Though I still haven’t been able to completely explain why her recent death struck me so hard, her commandments help to reveal why she was so special to many of us at Prairie High School.