The following is a somewhat unconventional approach to a Memorial for Julie, in which you may choose your level of involvement. Know that after a retrospective, a monograph, a lifetime achievement award, tributes, and testimonials she found the idea of a memorial gathering a bit excessive and embarrassing. In her last months she was interested in the notion of kindness and the power of being kind in a thoughtful and intelligent manner. There are no real ‘rules’ here, just suggestions of how this idea may physically exist. Most importantly your approach to this project needs to originate in your own heart.
There will be no public event; the idea is for the spirit of Julie to travel outward into the world rather than to stay cramped up as a memory inside of us. You are being asked to divert the resources you would have put into traveling and attending a memorial into this project. This will be a relatively simple, four-step process:
Julie’s Kindness Project
Identify: Come up with a deserving person/people unknown to Julie who is/are in need of a kind, outward gesture. This could be your neighbor, your grandma, the people at the hospice facility on the other side of town, or, on a larger scale a service organization.
Calculate: Really think about the time and resources you could have invested in attending a memorial gathering such as: Putting gas in your car, traveling, sitting and listening to memories of Julie, chatting and nibbling on snacks. Maybe you would have ordered flowers, contributed to a legacy fund, sent johnie something, or even bought yourself a new black leopard sequined jacket in honor of the occasion.
Activate: Don’t just consume; this isn’t about purchasing gifts. Use your resources along with your time to perform a kind gesture. Prepare a special meal for someone you wouldn’t have otherwise. Put a new battery in the financially challenged person’s car you recently jump-started. Help your friend’s kids build a safe, sturdy tree house. The possibilities are endless, and can be simple or elaborate, as long as you push the boundaries of your kindness threshold.
Share: Put something about the experience on our Facebook page (Shimon Lindemann). Tell the whole story, give a short description, write a poem, take a video, or be obscure with an uncaptioned snapshot. Invite others to participate by tagging them in comments. See how this idea can grow. You may use the hashtag #juliememorial. During this exercise, don’t reminisce about Julie. Instead, remember the kindness that Julie inspired and wanted to see in the world. This starts with Julie, but leads to something new.