Death. Mourning. Loss. Even when the death is unexpected and comes through some horrible accident, war, or disease and makes our knees buckle, at some point, we need to get back up. Even if death is expected, when we see someone we love waste away or die from old age peacefully in their sleep, we still have to go on with living. If we are parents and our parents die – we need to give courage and hope to our children and perhaps the siblings or friends of our parents. If we are married and our spouse dies – we still have to go on – we have others looking to us for some encouragement.
I’ve written about death before. You can read what I wrote about my dear mother, who lost the love of her life after 52 years of married life – When the River Won’t Flow: A Decision Born of Grief
My parents taught me some valuable lessons about death, but what we learned from my mom has prompted my husband and me to write our obituaries hopefully decades before they are needed. Since we were not grieving when we first drafted them, I can say that our obituaries are a bit colorful.
It also prompted an unusual hobby for me which started decades ago. I collect obituaries. They are all colorfully singular. They cover a broad spectrum: historical, wickedly funny, decidedly weird, and some are just a whimsical delight. All this from someone’s obituary, you ask? Indeed!
Along with this are some of the headstones that go along with the weird obituaries. I recently heard of a lady who told people who had asked for her Christmas Cookie recipe “Over My Dead Body!” Well, she kept faith with them and had the recipe carved on the back of her headstone!
I have often written about my husband, and if you follow my blog, you may have noticed some posts lately that refer to my fear for my husband’s health, along with my fear of becoming a widow. Well, thank you, Jesus, I have a wonderful husband who has a sense of humor – and we have decided to take a new look at the obituaries that we drafted years ago. I can only assume that they might get a little weirder, now that we are both older.
Since I am a child bride and 18 years younger than my husband – he is well aware that he is to cooperate with the Lord, whom we have asked to grant that my husband lives to 100 years old. That will allow us to have thirty-one years together. Since we just hit our 11th anniversary – we are hoping for an incredible twenty more. Yes, we are hopeless romantics.
For those near and dear to us, whenever the inevitable happens, perhaps this blog post will forewarn you, that maybe you should be sitting down before you read our obituaries. You might want to pour yourself some champagne and grab a bag of Doritos first.
I love this Ann and I remember you talking about the obituaries with your mom.
I even shared this wonderful idea with my mother but it didn’t have the effect that
you and Ron took, sadly. One day we will be tasked with this job. But I haven’t done it either and of course, none of us know when this day will come. Maybe this time your writing will prompt me!
Jan, It isn’t easy at any time. But trying to draft it when you are exhausted, grieving, and sleep-deprived, makes it orders of magnitude harder. I could never have written Ron’s because of the military information that was important for him to highlight. I hope that this will prompt you to deal with it. So much easier to update something that already exists! Thanks for writing! Ann
I have done this…and picked my pallbearers and priests. The best eulogy I have ever heard at a funeral was written by the 50 year old woman who had died of breast cancer.
bethsmo, thanks for sharing that. I think it is wonderful that you have been pro-active on funeral plans which spare others while planning for what you truly want. All the best to you. Thanks for writing!