The last word
Los Osos, Calif.
I am a voracious reader of obituaries about people I don’t know and I’ll admit that some obits I read with a deep sense of sadness, and a few with just a smidgin of joy. One conclusion I’ve reached is that far too many obituaries are either too long, or too short. Many people who have led very full, rich and rewarding lives get only a short paragraph or two, while scoundrels, mass murderers, rapists, crooks and career politicians get half a page.
Death is like religion and politics in that it’s not something you are supposed to write or talk about, and I do so in this instance with great respect. I have stared death directly in the face a couple times and believe me, it is no trifling matter. Life is funny sometimes, but death never is. Having said all that, I feel I simply must address the issue of less-than-flattering obituaries about folks who deserve better.
Let’s face it, we won’t all die at the peak of our obituary value and often times our many virtues and accomplishments aren’t remembered when people are grieving. And I ask you, do you really want to leave the composition of your obituary up to an angry ex-wife, someone who can’t write, or a bunch of ungrateful step-children that were left out of your Last Will and Testament?
I didn’t think so. The only way to make sure that all your achievements and good qualities are mentioned in the final summary of your life is to write your obituary yourself.
Do-it-yourself obituaries, that’s what I’m talking about. Because death is no time to be humble.
I’ve written my own obit, hopefully well ahead of its publication date, and it’s so good I can hardly wait to die to have people read about me. Now you too can write your own obit thanks to my new business idea: DIY Obits. Here’s just a sampling of the obituary templates I hope to be offering soon:
Enter your name, age 89, died from: a) a long illness; b) being caught in the arms of his mistress; c) a terrible accident involving a vacuum truck and a septic tank. (pick one).
Skeeter Nelson, got married: a) after meeting the love of his life in church; b) being on the wrong end of a loaded shotgun.
Lying Jim Lardbucket was:) a devoted spouse, loving husband, and wonderful father; b) a no-good, dirty rotten skunk.
Mumsy Flickenfloss was happily married: a) for five of the 35 years she was betrothed; b) so many times we lost count.
Hog Eyed Kate Orpheus had: a) three wonderful children; b) her first marriage end in an annulment and four more marriages end in divorce.
Magpie Sally Shnglebottom III graduated from: a) MIT and Harvard at the top of her class; b) Harvard street elementary school and graduated dead last in her class in beauty college.
Mysterious Dave Mathews was a lifetime member of: a) Rotary; b) the human race.
One Thumb Slickpickle had a Gold Card: a) in the PRCA; b) taken away from him by American Express.
Snuffy Rellano served: a) in Korea and Vietnam and flew 35 combat missions; b) 22 years of a life sentence in Leavenworth.
Useless Nestor Windbelly had many jobs including: a) rock polisher, hearing aid mechanic, mystery shopper, network conceptualizer, and airline excuse maker; b) working for the state making license plates.
Miss Salom Ella devoted her retirement years to: a) helping at the hospital, delivering Meals on Wheels and traveling to Ecuador for Habitat for Humanity; b) competing in slot tournaments and collecting Tupperware.
Who Flung Dung leaves behind: a) 10 kids, 35 grandkids and three angry ex-wives; b) a couple big and burly bill collectors from Caesars Palace.
Please go on the internet to sign the online registry and make a contribution in his/her name to: a) The American Red Cross; b) DIY Obit. (You didn’t think I’d go to all this trouble for nothing, did you?) ❖