living obituary

As you probably guessed from the title, this entry is about something few want to talk about – death.  So, I’m thinking it’s a great topic for a post. During a recent lecture, obituaries was the subject discussed.  More importantly,  who would write it AND would you really want that person to write it.  Currently, some have started writing their own obituaries, ensuring the content.  Morbid as it may be, the concept is equally compelling.

Years ago, even if the person was a complete and utter douche bag, the obituary was written otherwise.  Granted, it probably had more factual information than humorous anecdotes about the deceased.  Still, there was an etiquette that was begrudgingly observed.

Not in 2017, baby.  Today, full disclosure is the new norm. Emily Post is long gone.  Nowadays, if the deceased is downright nasty, there is NO holding back.  People are choppin’ at the bit to include their ‘thoughts’  in the virtually Google doc obitchuary.  Then, Dr. Phil would discuss the emotional consequences.  Everyone would cry. Yada yada yada.

Fortunately, I’ve never written an actual obituary.  A few years back, I posted a few words, remembering a mentor that had passed.  It truly is a daunting task, attempting to sum up a life in a brief ‘statement’.

In order to present the topic appropriately, I researched.  Then, decided to add a little commentary, of course.  We’re talkin’ death.  So, any attempt at humor is usually appreciated.

  • Be aware of identity theft.  unfortunate this is even a concern
  • Strike a balance – it’s not only a notice of the death, but also a compelling ‘life’ story.   I HATE life stories – unless it’s  fiction AND mine.
  • Describe the deceased as an individual, in the third person.
  • Decide how many family members to include. How many generations do you want to go back? Who was Aunt Edna again?
  • Think of three words.  Find three words that sum up the life lived.  Fucking ass hole CAN be three words if you think about it.

That being said, who then could be trusted to write such final words?

  1. family member – probs the safest bet, especially if you have lots of money to pass on to those ‘loved ones’
  2. friend – another safe bet. Usually – Though, you could offend a certain someone by asking a different person instead.  But then you’re dead.  Too late to re-evaluate not only your decision, but your relationships as well.  
  3. famous person – Entertainment Weekly always highlights this in the year end issue.  Fun concept to … entertain.   
  4. write it yourself – a definite way to get the facts straight.  Not for me.  I want my legacy to be my published fictional works; not some damn non-fictional paragraph.  Boring!
  5. opt out – my choice. Unless  Jeremy Piven or even John Cusack have something nice to say. 

Serendipidous send off

Well, that’s all I’s got.  Time to put this post to rest.  Hope reading what I’ve written didn’t bore you to …. death.


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