Nov. 16, 2019

PLAN AHEAD AND HAVE THE LAST WORD.

When I was younger-- I never read obituaries. Death was too final; I dreaded the very-idea of Death but-- these days--I have a new attitude.  I no-longer fear the end of life.

Growing-Up has changed my thinking about many things, including dying. Now, every day,  I read obituaries. They keep me connected and up to date with familiar names, long-ago friends, and-- on several occasions-- some unforgettable boyfriends.

But...reading obituaries these days,  makes me " instantly irritated. " Most obituaries are written using a one-size-fits-all style!  I've yet to read anything uniquely-warm, or personal, or endearing; nothing I read makes me believe the person who died was an interesting individual or a wonderful person with a remarkable life. 

Occasionally,  I feel a tinge of emotion when I read about a person who left a favorite pet....or an obituary that personalizes the deceased by using a treasured quote  but--over all-- most obituaries sound impersonal and repetitous--- like the closing of another K-Mart.

Oh!...and how I despise reading the words "He/She was reared"  in such and such town..."!!!!That disgusting phrase makes me think a car was rear-ended in an accident!  Thank You But....."I was raised-- I grew-up-- I enjoyed--and I spent all-- or most-- of my life...." DON'T WRITE ABOUT ME BEING "REARED"!

More and more disenchanted with the way Obituaries are written, I decided to write my own obituary. I wrote about myself in a brief, but very-personal style.

I tell "my side" of me in such a way that anyone reading the announcement of my death, will know me as an individual.  I write in a conversational style, using my obituary as "my way" of saying good-bye.

And, I suggest you do the same. After all-- we write wills that detail who-gets-what so why not write--in detail--what we hope the world will remember about us?  Why would I let some stranger write: "She had no immediate family" when I have the most-wonderful four-legged family who consistently fill my life with endless love?!?!?

Or, why would someone list my degrees or titles when that's not at-all what I want people to remember about me?!?!?  

We are all wonderfully-different. When we die, our obituaries shouldn't read like a rubber stamp-version of the person in the next casket. The only way we can guarantee our obits are personalized-- show our individuality--is to write them ourselves and keep them updated. 

No One---not a family member, nursing home aide, or funeral home secretary---should write our obituaries. Who knows us better than we know ourselves? 

The day we were born---we were considered unique, different, and truly one-of-a-kind.  When we die....we deserve to be remembered as the same unique, one-of-a-kind- individual who lived, breathed, and loved life. 

And when we die, the world  should honor us--our way; treat our "living" with all the love and respect we rightfully-deserved in "dying". 

Funeral Homes, Newspapers, Churches, Online Media: STOP acknowledging our deaths with a few cold, impersonal words from a "fill in the blanks" obituary form. 

"Til Death Do Us Part."

Sally Miller

PS...I encourage you to write your obituary soon; there's really nothing to it, but...if you want help, send me an email at: sallymiller8366@gmail.com.