When someone has looked death right in the eye, I believe they think a little bit more about their own mortality than someone who has not been quite as close to death.
I know I do.
I was brought up in a household where life wasn’t truly over until a person’s obituary appeared in the local newspaper. My Mom feasted upon the obit section daily in the local newspaper. I guess it’s genetic. She handed that trait to me. But I’m lazy. I don’t read every word of each obit, I’m only a “skimmer”, I don’t study all of surviving family members names and associations, the “facts” about their lives, etc.
My Mom even had her obit written in advance and we made only one minor change (added a great grand daughter’s name) before we published it when she died.
And rarely, does an obit truly catch my eye. But the one below, that was in a news article yesterday, did just that. The 38-year-old young lady that passed away, also wrote her own obit. It’s not the standard one that we read daily and it really got me thinking how much her words are a close reflection to the way I feel I’d like my own obit to read.
Some of her words really touched me …..
“I don’t like the timeline format, because let’s face it, I’ve never really done anything of note.” ….. (Like save lives, cure cancer, stop famine, bring world peace)
“I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, but most of the time I failed. But I tried.” ……. (I have had a lot of failures, that’s for sure. But I NEVER quit.)
“Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those that loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me, and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile.” ….. (Simply beautiful)
“I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.” …. (Let’s die with NO regrets)
In my mind this obituary is the way they should all be written.
I’ve read it a couple of times and each time I have had a smile on my face, as a tear leaks from the corner of each eye.
Sonia Todd, may you rest in peace and thank you for opening my yes and my mind a little. May God bless your soul.
Her Obit ~
Oct, 14, 2012
My name is Sonia Todd and I died of cancer at the age of 38. I decided to write my own obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don’t care for. Either, family or friends gather together, and list every minor accomplishment from cradle to grave in a timeline format, or they try and create one poetic last stanza about someone’s life that is so glowing one would think the deceased had been the living embodiment of a deity.
I don’t like the timeline format because, let’s face it, I never really accomplished anything of note. Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons (James and Jason), marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband (Brian), and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior—I have done very little. None of which requires obit space that I have to shell out money for.
I also didn’t want a bunch of my friends sitting around writing a glowing report of me which we all know would be filled with fish tales, half-truths, impossible scenarios, and out-right-honest-to-goodness-lies. I just don’t like to put people in that kind of situation.
The truth, or my version of it, is this: I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes, and complaints, I really did love people. The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin each of us participated in. I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing and when you come to the end of your life those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.
My life was not perfect and I encountered many, many bumps in the road. I would totally scrap the years of my life from age 16 to 20 . . . ok, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the 80’s. But mostly, I enjoyed life. Some parts of it were harder than others but I learned something from every bad situation and I couldn’t do any more than that.
Besides there are some benefits to dying youngish, for example, I still owe on my student loans and the jokes on them cuz I’m not paying them. Plus, I am no longer afraid of serial killers, telemarketers, or the IRS. I don’t have to worry about wrinkles or the ozone layer and/or hide from the news during election season.
Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those that loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me, and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life. I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile.
If you think of me, and would like to do something in honor of my memory do this:
-Volunteer at a school, church, or library
-Write a letter to someone and tell them how they have had a positive impact on your life
-If you smoke – quit
-If you drink and drive—stop
-Turn off the electronics and take a kid out for ice cream and talk to them about their hopes and dreams
-Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it
-Stop at all lemonade-stands run by kids and brag about their product
-Make someone smile today if it is in your power to do so
*Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 20th at Trinity Baptist Church, 711 Fairview Drive, Moscow, with a potluck reception following, everyone is welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been set up at the Blaine Street Branch of the US Bank in Moscow. Gifts can be made out to the Todd Boys Educational Fund.