Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Jan. 28

Leave an obituary that makes people smile

If you read the obituaries as most of us do, you have probably never read anything unkind about the recently departed. Does that mean they were all saints? Of course not. But who among us is going to say anything mean about someone we have just lost?

Just imagine for a moment, "Tom was a total jerk, and no one cares that he left us." Or perhaps "I never liked the idiot and won't be attending his services. Here are the details if anyone wants to go." Bernice was a witch, and no one in the family really liked her." How about Edwin was a thief and stole from the whole darn family. Good riddance!"

In any case, it is unlikely that you will read these kinds of things in anyone's obituary. I myself will often look at the photos and wonder if they were as pleasant as their photo looks. When I read that they were in their eighties, or nineties, it always makes me smile. At least they had a long life, and hopefully it was a good one. (However, I will admit now that I am in my seventies, eighty and ninety doesn't seem that old anymore.)

What if we just all wrote our own obituaries? Why leave it to others? Aren't there certain things you would like to share that your loved ones may not put out there? How do you know they will even do an obituary for you after you go? It can be kind of pricey, depending on how much you want to say, and for how long. And how about that photo they may or may not include? Do you really want the one from your high school graduation? Or when you married your first husband/wife?

There are a lot of people who read obits just to see if they have lost any friends that they may not have kept in touch with. Some will read several papers on line just to keep up with who is no longer on the reunion committee, so to speak. Who of us has not looked for someone we went to school with, only to find that they passed away twenty or more years ago?

Some obits will have many, many accomplishments listed. Perhaps they were in the military, as well. I know we like to read what appears to be a full and eventful life. For many, that just isn't the case. Sometimes it will just be a few words entered by the mortuary, and very impersonal. I wonder sometimes if perhaps they outlived all their friends and relatives and maybe there just isn't anyone left to say anything more. I would imagine that would be tough. Outliving everyone you were close to.

Some folks feel that it does not matter what anyone says about you after you are gone. You can't hear it, and don't give a crap who may or may not have liked you. Maybe it is just me, but I would like to think that I have left enough good memories with people that they will say good things about me, when my turn comes. Matter of fact, I asked a very close family friend to please do the eulogy if and when that opportunity comes. I am not sure what my boys will plan, but I am thinking maybe a party/celebration of my life. In any case, this person I have asked to say nice things, is actually very funny! Because I do not want to make people more sad, I want them to find much to smile and laugh about. My special friend is the one who can do it. She is like a stand up comic in some ways, and will find the right words to say.(Although, she still lives in Washington state, and may not even make the trip. Oh well.)

For those of you who are planning to be organ donors? If you are over sixty, no one wants your old used parts! The warranty is pretty well up by then and not likely to do anyone any good. Keep in mind that there are many opportunities to donate a kidney, donate bone marrow,or donate blood, before you are too old or already taking medications.

In closing, I would just like to say that as long as we are breathing we can still make changes in our lives. Be the kind of person who will leave others with a smile on their face when you are gone. And not because they are happy that you finally left!..