Sunday, September 13, 2015

What would my obituary say?

Yesterday, I listened to a bit of RadioLab, in which they discussed people who can lie to themselves, which sounds pretty terrible but actually has some positive aspects.  People who can't lie to themselves tend to be depressed and anxious; people who can lie to themselves tend to be more successful in terms of business and sports.  There is a protective effect of lying.

I think it is pretty clear where I land.

Since I wrote about the sudden death of DS, I've been thinking about what people will remember about me when I'm gone.  His obituary was lovely and so beautifully summed up his spirit.  If you'd never met him, you'd feel like you had after reading his obituary.

So I wonder what my obituary would say....and how I would feel about that.  If I could write it myself, what would I want included.

I think it would say or I'd want it to say:

  • I truly aspired to be kind, but I was just a little too judgmental and mean to make that work as well as I wanted it to.  
  • Somewhere along the line I found that to feel angry felt much less painful than feeling sad.  
  • My greatest wish was for my children to be empathetic people.  
  • I died being completely taken off-guard by what killed me;  I'm certain I was worried about something else causing my demise.
  • I really believed my greatest gift was walking the fine line between hilarity and solemnity.
  • I couldn't be any other way besides honest to myself because it physically hurt to be otherwise.
  • I aspired to be musical and sucked at it.  
  • I was pretty terrible at proactively savoring moments, but I was attentive enough to quiet when I noticed I was in the midst of one.  And I treasured it.
  • I always wished I was better at sitting down.  
  • Small things I loved:  pottery, falsetto singing, being read to by my children, hummingbirds, planning vacations, prints of placed I'd visited, native plants, unexpected wildlife sightings (including cows in fields despite their lack of wildness).
My family is not a set of writers.  My dad had me help him write a condolence note to a great aunt the other day, which made me feel extremely happy....that my dad had asked for my assistance as a writer, however small.  And D probably considers asking me what to write in the cards he gives me for anniversary and birthday.  So unless one of my children has a knack for writing, and I die at a much later date than anytime soon, my obituary will probably not say any of these things.  

But this is how I would hope my family and friends would know and/or learn about me.  

No comments: