The Joyful Obituary

As part of my daily job I read the obituaries every morning.  Even on the weekends.  We work with a population that is often very sick or very near their end.  We document their passing in our notes.  Sometimes the obituary is so plain, so empty.  It’s heartbreaking.  Other times we are given a glimpse in to a life we didn’t know from so long ago.   We only knew them and their ending situation.

But as part of this process my coworker and I have often talked about the different obituaries we have come across.

We’ve chuckled at the lines used to describe someone’s passions, joys or frustrations.  I appreciate humor in an obituary.

We’ve been saddened by some of the circumstances.   The youth.  The loss.  The loneliness.  The tragedy.  The love.

We’ve taken comfort from the beautiful words indicating the faith of the deceased who have gone on to glory, or Jesus’ Arms, or crossing a river to continue their journey.

We’ve discussed obituaries and pointed them out to one another.  And, not in any sense of morbidness, we have discussed our own obituaries.  Knowing that one one day one of us will read the other’s obituary.  And we chuckle.  Because we want which ever one of us  is reading it to reflect not on our death but on the life we lived.

Isn’t that the best thing a great obituary can do?

Reflect a life lived?  A life loved?  A life that will be missed?  And give a comfort in knowing the passing is just a step…

Which ever one of us reads the other obituary we want that one to say “that’s the best obituary I’ve ever read!”  Hey … did you see….  and turn to holler at the other that they have got to see this.  Which ever one of us it is will turn out of habit, knowing the other is gone….but knowing the obituary would have been loved and out of this long habit, wanted to share it.

My coworker and friend sent me one of the best obituaries I have ever seen.  Our obituaries will have to be incredible and powerful to top this obituary.  If you haven’t seen it please click her name and read it.  It is the absolute best obituary ever.  You will feel the joy she created and lived.

Antonia Larroux

How can an obituary be joyful reading?  Read hers.  And some day, read mine.  It won’t be sad.   And don’t be surprised if there’s a joyful comment asking someone “Hey!!! Did you like this my friend?”

There will be much to write about to enjoy, to laugh over, and possibly to argue over.   There may even be a gasp (!) or two.  But when you read mine, I hope you chuckle.