Some years ago, I taught a literature course for which the university required Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie. Of course, the book is moving in countless ways, but this part stuck with me:
When a colleague at Brandeis died suddenly of a heart attack, Morrie went to his funeral. He came home depressed. ‘What a waste,’ he said. ‘All of those people saying all those wonderful things, and Irv never got to hear any of it.’(Albom 12) . . . I’m an MLA gal at heart.
From this comes the living eulogy. Morrie wanted to know why we waited until someone was dead to say nice things about them. Why not tell them while they are alive? I loved the idea and decided I’d write a letter to each person I loved, so they knew how I felt about them. I called it The Morrie Project.
I drafted one letter, and I never sent it.
I’ve sat on this project for over a decade. One person on my list passed a few years ago. I missed my chance. I don’t believe in regret, but I do have sadness over this. I know others feel similar about wishing they could’ve said something to someone while they were still with us.
Today, I was admiring the stamps I
geeked out over bought and thought, Maybe I should use these for the project. And then I thought . . . why not encourage others to share their living eulogies while supporting the USPS?
If you don’t know, the U.S. Postal Service is struggling and may cease to exist in the very near future. There have long been rumblings the postal service should be privatized, and the Trump administration is all too keen to see that happen despite the numerous problems with said plans (specifically, the increase in prices and the reduction of service to areas a private company would deem unworthy).
And that’s how the #MorrieMailChallenge tumbled from my brain.
The Challenge: How to do the #MorrieMailChallenge
- Make a list of everyone you love and admire.
- Write a living eulogy for each person.
- Buy stamps.
- Mail those living eulogies!
That does seem easy, but I’ll be honest: It can be emotionally draining, as my therapist told me when I attempted this again recently. That said, it can also be cathartic. It could be heartwarming and improve relationships. Of course, there’s risk involved, but authenticity and vulnerability are all about taking those risks. I say we are in the best time to make our love known for those we cannot see during physical distancing, and this is an ideal way to do that. Maybe this is the chance to unlearn the fear of being vulnerable.
If you do the #MorrieMailChallenge, I’d love it if you shared an image that represents each person on your social media. Maybe you could use the stamp you sent. Maybe you could post a picture of that person. Maybe you could share an image that reminds you of them. Whatever you do, use the tag #MorrieMailChallenge, and spread some love while supporting one of the most important federal institutions we’ve got left.
Even if you don’t do this, please consider buying stamps, support the USPS, leave a kind note for your postal carrier, and call your loved ones to tell them what they mean to you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. 💚