Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Writing my obituary.

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2013 at 4:00 am

I’ve read in books that every person has at least one moment in their life that radically changes the trajectory of how they exist in this world.

I believe that my moment came this last Tuesday when I was asked to do something no one has ever asked me to do in my life.

Given a piece of paper with a date on it, I was asked to write my own obituary.

The date on the paper:  January 31, 2013.  Not two days ago.

A strange thing, no doubt; some might say morbid or ghoulish.  For me, however, I find that it has shaped the rest of my days.

Numerous singers, poets and philosophers have posed the questions of purpose, meaning, origin and mortality before me, so I don’t pretend to be the first to do so.  What I find so fascinating is that most of us never think of our impending deaths.

There are very few things in our lives that are guaranteed.  On that short list is penciled in the fact that we all are going to experience death.  Whether that of a close friend, loved one and, eventually, our own demise.

Yet most of us do not acknowledge this fact.  Those who do are deemed pessimistic or dark; they are to be avoided.  Death is the sour note in the symphony of life that we all pretend not to hear until the chord strikes in our own chorus line.

In the midst of the morbidity, I have found life in the words of the wise sages who understood that death is pressing hard upon us all and we had better live accordingly.  So many of us pass our days frittering away time on things that bear no significance or contribution to the human race.  If you had two days left before you breathed your last, what would you do differently?  What would you cut out of your life that wasted your time, money and energy?  Who would you want to be with?  What would you say that need to be said or unsaid?  What would you want to be remembered as and who would you want to be remembered by?

My guess is, if you stopped what you were doing and took 15 minutes to write your own obituary you would immediately get on the phone and call the person that meant the most to you just to tell them you loved them and wanted them to know it.  You would let go of the bitterness that holds peace in bondage between you and some other soul.  You would cease to throw away time and energy on things that mean nothing; that take up space.  Not to disrespect Tim McGraw, but you wouldn’t go skydiving or ride a bull.  You would do everything in your power to heal, empower and leave your mark on this world that we all pass our time in together.

So had I died January 31, 2013 I don’t think I would have laid my head down in perfect peace; that I had loved with every fiber of my being.  I couldn’t have said that I was always honest in my writing and speech.  There would have been much left undone that I dearly wanted to give to my brothers and sisters.

I survived my death on the date etched on the slip of paper.  I survive my death each morning I wake.  And I will not waste the gift of the present by expending myself in matters, that when my cold body is at last lowered into the earth shall cease to have meaning.

So I will leave a piece of myself here.  The pixels that form on this screen will not always be neat, clean or complete.  He who believes he has completed his thoughts is already dead.  I am alive.  And I will fill this space with my questions, doubts and musings.  The secret things that creep in the river of all our minds – the streams that sometimes fill the banks and other times trickle – will be my contribution to all who want to dialogue with life.  I don’t pretend to think that it will be read by many.  So long as those who love me and whom I love dearly read, reflect and respond.

I shall count myself a man who truly lived from this day forward, always editing the obituary on file by the way I live and love every human soul.