Death ushered another close friend from this world last week.
I barely recognized my friend as I read the obituary. How did the editor make this man’s life sound so bland? Where was the feeling of joie-de-vivre that filled every day of his existence?
The best obituaries I’ve ever read were written—often with great humor—by the deceased, in the days before they left this world. Their words told of passions fulfilled, adventures taken, and dreams unrealized.
My friend would be better recognized in words telling how he relished the freedom of riding his motorcycle well into his eighties. Or that spoke of his passion for bringing healthy food and healthy living to a community defined by all the “bad” aspects of Southern cooking and living. We should have smiled at a reminder of his child-like enthusiasm for visiting South American rainforests with native shamans in his quest for the story behind the newest natural supplement. We would have remembered how he stood close, paying absolute attention when talking to friends and friends-to-be (because to him everyone he met was a friend awaiting discovery). Most of all, memories of his absolute love for his family, enough to spill over on everyone lucky enough to venture into his sphere of influence, would have warmed our souls.
Take some time to reflect on the events and people that have shaped your life so far. Which moments of life wrote your day in living color? Which of them shaped your hours in shades of gray? If you had a choice, how would weave your life to fill it with color and joy?
How would your obituary read if a stranger wrote it today?
If you wrote your obituary today, what would you reveal to your friends and family about your dreams and disappointments? When you re-read your words, what would you be inspired to change about your life starting now?
If you wrote an obituary for your main character today, how would that change the way you write his or her story tomorrow?