Saturday, October 27, 2012

First Person Singular

When my mother-in-law died, she had prepared herself and everyone who knew her for the eventuality.  Part of what she did, as a sensible rock-solid good Christian woman, was make out a will, prepay her funeral expenses, (with strict instructions as to how and where and what) and write  her own obituary (leaving out the obvious 'to be filled in later" parts).

We have all seen obits that go on for columns, listing descendants to the ninth level of degree,  extolling the virtues of the deceased or ignoring them entirely to focus on what the writer wants to remember:  my favorite was obviously written by her granddaughter, about a woman who had had a long successful life in several fields, but all this girl could come up with was 'She loved her grandchildren and she loved to knit and crochet".

The other day I sat down and wrote my own.  Not sure what I'd say,  not sure where it would go.  As an exercise in summing up one's life in a few sentences, it was quite revealing, since it focuses you on what really matters to YOU, as it should be.  And it isnt grim at all.  Since it's written from the 3rd person POV, you're two removes from the thing, and somehow that makes it easier. 

(I wonder what would happen if someone's own obit was published,  in the First Person...??)


  1. I would like to write my own. TRUTHFULLYM less than 4 hourws ago i told my wife some things I WOULD LIKE. seems like AI HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT MY DEATH A LOT LATELY.

  2. Harvey, if you want to, do it. It will make things a bit simpler when the time comes, and you will have had a discussion about things with your wife that too many people never get to have. What you would like is important. It takes the burden of not knowing what he really wanted outta the mix. Put it under the heading "one more thing we don't have to worry about".