Blog #562 Write your Obituary

Write your obituary!!! REALLY!!!

I’ve done this as an assignment for classes a few times. Write your obituary!! (Okay Bruce, you finally have lost it)!!!
I think it is a good time for reflection on where you are going when you write your obituary.

When you start out on a driving trip (let’s say going to New York City), you get out your maps, you determine if you want to drive longer hours and stay on the interstate highways – or get off the roads and “See America”. Maybe you can figure out where old friends live and drive a little out of the way to catch up with them. Maybe you have watched some TV show that inspired you to go out of your way. I’m thinking of the Food Network “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” where there are some really neat restaurants to visit – and we have done that – drive a little out of our way to hit some neat/unique restaurant. (Aside – probably a good plan before all restaurants become franchises). Have you seen the covered bridges in Vermont and New Hampshire?

As you plan this long road trip to NYC, you might check your finances – can we stay at high-end motels/hotels or not? Maybe we can do the BNB (bed and breakfast route), or just the Airbnb (air bed and breakfast). Are there national parks on the way? Scenic stops that can’t be missed? (Will you be close to Philadelphia – are you going to see the Liberty Bell? How about Washington DC?)
Now, let’s think of the intent of writing our own obituary. Of course, no person is quite clairvoyant enough to know exactly how their life is going to go. But, if you take a positive view and live to an old age, what “might” your life be like – and what ‘might’ your obituary be? (By-the-way, when I assigned this years ago, after one or two flippant obituaries – where the person was run over by a truck two days after the assignment was due – I made living into retirement part of the assignment).

Will your obituary be like this: “Bruce White, died in his sleep last night. He was boring.” Or with several paragraphs of the highlights of a person’s life? Do you have a passion for flowers, you can be like Carl Fischer (an old friend), who loved gladiolus and bred them for years and has many gladiolus that he bred (see: Did you have a bridge named after you? Is your name on a memorial plaque for your service (like my friend Norman has in the Leander memorial park)? Were you on civic committees? Were you active in a church or synagogue? Did you serve as a Scoutmaster or PTA president? Did you write many iPhone and iPad apps like my friend Steven? Did you take in rescue dogs (like Tom and Pierre)? Were you considered for a Nobel Prize in Medicine (like my friend Tony)

By reflecting on where you might end up (as an obituary) it can help clarify who you are – and where you are going. There is an old adage “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there!!”. Obviously writing your obituary helps clarify where you are going, helps you focus on how to get there.

“For Fun” (okay, maybe not quite for ‘fun’) sit down in the next couple of days and write your obituary. Think about what you really want to do in this life – and how you are going to do it!!!

And, if you are willing to share it with me – that would be great!!
What do you think?

Posted by Bruce White

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