I didn’t have the chance to see any of the celebrity-studded final shows of The Oprah Winfrey Show nor did I have the chance to see her actual finale. I did, however, see this one article (the only one I’ve found of its kind), that had Oprah’s “final monologue.” There’s a 4-minute video in the article that I wanted to embed here for your viewing pleasure, but it’s un-embeddable (at least un-embeddable as far as my Internet know-how goes).
I have written out her final monologue, should you prefer reading to watching/listening:
Every single day I came down from my makeup room on our Harpo elevator I would offer a prayer of gratitude for the delight and the privilege of doing this show. Gratitude is the single greatest treasure I will take with me from this experience. The opportunity to have done this work. To be embraced by all of you who watched is one of the greatest honors any human being could have. I’ve been asked many times during this farewell season, ‘is ending the show bittersweet?’ Well I say all sweet — no bitter. And here’s why. Many of us have been together for 25 years. We have hooted and hollered together. Had our aha moments. We ugly cried together. And we did our gratitude journals. So, I thank you all for your support and your trust in me. I thank you for sharing this yellow brick road of blessings. I thank you for tuning in everyday along with your mothers and your sisters and your daughters, your partners — gay and otherwise — your friends and all the husbands who got coaxed into watchin’ Oprah. And I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I’ve tried to be for you. I won’t say goodbye, I’ll just say until we meet again. To God be the glory.
In watching the clip or reading this monologue, it’s hard not to see the gratitude bursting through. Oprah is grateful — through and through. She is grateful to have had the chance to do the work that she does. It beams through in this monologue, it beams through in the clip from the article I’ve linked to, and most of what I’ve read about her general mood about and around the final season is that she’s grateful. And don’t we all have some room to be a little more grateful?
The one thing that strikes me the most from the clip, (which is not included in the monologue), but when Oprah emerges backstage and is hugging her team, is the words she uses. She isn’t crying because it’s over, no. Oprah is saying, “we did it!” We did it. She isn’t mourning the loss of her TV show, she is celebrating the opportunity to have done it. She is offering gratitude for being able to have shared in something so great. She is thankful towards her team for helping her put together 25 years of television that won’t soon be forgotten. And why shouldn’t she be grateful. She’s had an awesome run as far as TV goes and she’s been at the top of influential charts for quite some time!
A young boy asks Byron Katie what she would do if someone she loved had just died, “Celebrate!” And why not, right? Sure there can be time for mourning, but there’s so much to celebrate. Katie lists a number of reasons as to why one could be happy for someone’s death (including: they can never be hurt again, they might get to be fertilizer to help something grow to help something else grow, etc.) Here’s another example in a blog post from Katie: “Death is a part of living.”
Bring it back to Oprah and gratitude and the last 2 minutes of the clip — you can feel the emotion when she says, “Awww we did it!” There’s so much heart in that exclamation. She’s truly grateful. I am grateful to have had the chance to see the last monologue of The Oprah Winfrey Show and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share it with all of you. What are you grateful for?