The other day I was watching one of my favorite '90s sitcoms and the students in the show were asked to write and present their own eulogies for their public speaking class. While this process is SUPER morbid, it had me wondering what mine would be like when I die and if I would like the person I became. What did I accomplish? Who did I inspire? Did I ever "make it"? Find the key on how to balance a successful career with a family? Were my 20s the pivotal time in my life that shaped me or maybe it was my 30s? Did I finally stop procrastinating my life away and start doing? Did I get married? Start a charity? Live abroad? Finally learn how to swim?
There are so many questions that I have for my future self it's unreal. Below is the (abbreviated) eulogy that I wrote for my personal public speaking class. I've taken the time to assess what I want to accomplish and unearthed dreams I didn't even know I have. As the words started flowing, I could see my future life and am excited to continue on the path to its actualization. I hope as you read my eulogy it inspires you to take the time to write your own. I hope that you are satisfied with the person you're subconsciously want to be. I hope that you take meaningful steps to ensure that this person exists before you're ultimately no more.
The thing that I'll remember most about Moni is her smile. That pearly white stunner had a way of lighting up a room and lighting up almost anyone's mood. She loved approaching people and hearing their stories and had the uncanny ability to truly connect with almost anyone in some way, shape or form. It's hard to describe how much she'll be missed. From her infectious laughter to overwhelming passion for life, these few sentences won't do her life justice on how she impacted her family and the world.
What Moni wanted most in the world was getting people to laugh and smile. The first show she wrote and produced, ****, was a huge success during its 11 seasons. It won countless Emmys for its ability to tackle cultural and social issues while still providing the audience with light-hearted laughs. It was thought of as unheard of and impossible at the time. She always expressed that knowing almost every American watched and related to these characters each week was amazing, but the greatest part about this show was that she got the chance to create it with some of her closest friends from college.
Her time at UNC established these friendships and also inspired her to always find a way of impacting her community. The brief time she spent in a homeless shelter during school, led her to start the 'Dinners on the Mall' series. Celebrating its 42nd year, businesses and charities come together each spring and feed DC's homeless population on the National Mall as guests are provided with showers, haircuts, dental exams, new clothes and meals as people who come feeling invisible leave feeling human and validated each year. The event has snowballed to almost every major city in the country and with a few cities in Europe hosting dinners as well, her goal of providing these meals on a global scale is continuing.
While distraught as her mentors and best friends Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes and former President Hillary Clinton passed away over the years, she valued their wisdom and constant support. Together they started a global women's empowerment group that encouraged women in all industries to tackle the obstacles set before them and realize their full potential.
After winning an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the movie adaptation of her New York Times bestseller that won the award for Best Picture in the same evening, she thought that would be the greatest night of her life. However, time and again, memories of her children continue to amaze her and surpass that night as she can see herself in each of them as she always viewed their feats in life as greater than her own.
Survived by her husband, three sons and daughter, Moni lived a fruitful life that was a healthy balance of laughter and love. A devout Christian, carefree mother and impeccable writer, she will be missed and never forgotten.
*cue Beyonce's 'I Was Here' playing in the background.*