By in Personal

When You Die, Will There Be an Obituary?

Do I ask an odd question? a question that makes you uncomfortable?

I am older. Some might say I am not that old, yet my friends are dying. And I am already older than my parents were when they met their end.

Recently, I sought, not one, but two obituaries for people I have known. The results were entirely disappointing and disheartening.

I inquired of others, and in one of the cases, I was told the woman who died wanted to keep her dying to herself.

Now no one will question that such a perspective is completely within the rights of the individual.

But is it loving? Is it kind? Is it considerate?

I think not.

When someone I've known has died, I want to remember them. More than that, I want to know who they were, not just who I thought they were. I want them to help me know, as well as remember, them. Am I being selfish in this? I don't think so.

Yet, I found no obituary. Nothing more than - with a great deal of searching - an acknowledgment they had, indeed, died. Did that knowledge touch my heart? Did it fill within me the need to think deeply about them? Did it help me firmly imprint on my heart how much I am going to miss them?

No. It left me empty. At some level, it left me resentful. I want to always remember those I've loved, those who are now lost to me in life.

Now chances are, I have never gotten to know YOU. But will you be kind, thoughtful, loving toward those whom you will leave behind you when YOU die?

Image Credit » Pixabay

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MegL wrote on February 24, 2018, 3:08 PM

That's a very interesting question. I have actually got both a physical folder and an online document labelled "when I die". I also have a will. But I never thought of writing an obituary for myself. Obituaries to me were always something other people wrote about you: and if you were famous, they had them written well ahead of time, so they could just pull them from a filing cabinet, should you meet your end sooner than expected, so that if famous person A dies in a plane crash, their obituary can be headline news five minutes after the news of the plane crash arrives! Maybe I should write an obituary for myself and file it in those places. After all, who knows better than me where I lived during my lifetime, etc, etc. Thank you for that.

VinceSummers wrote on February 24, 2018, 3:28 PM

Well meditated upon, Meg. Who better?

melody23 wrote on February 25, 2018, 3:54 PM

I have no family so no I probably wont have an obituary, come to think of it if I outlive my partner I doubt I will even have a funeral, I have no idea what will happen to me but I guess it wont bother me much. I have the financial side of things in the process of being sorted which might seem morbid given I'm only 31 years old but with my job you know all to well that anything can happen plus our house is in my sole name and the last thing I want is the other half to have to deal with me being hit by a bus then being made homeless!

VinceSummers wrote on February 25, 2018, 4:54 PM

You have me a little confused, but I will say I feel certain you have friends. And they will want to remember you. They may not have a photo of you. And they may not know many of the details of your biography. It's both loving and kind to make sure if they don't remember you, it's because they don't want to remember you. Chances are, they DO want to remember you!

lookatdesktop wrote on February 26, 2018, 10:55 AM

I arrived on planet Earth on October 1st. I was the fifth born. My father was cursed with polio and in spite of his condition held a steady job as a lens inspector at a wholesale optical dispensary. My mother was a housewife, but before that she was a writer and inventor. She never finished college when she was proposed to several times until she gave in and accepted my father's proposal. My oldest brother was once a boy scout, but quit school at an early age and began living as a drifter. He failed to pass as a volunteer into the armed services in the US Navy due to his disqualifying condition of hypertension. My Oldest sister died before I was born, of a rare blood disorder known as Erothema Multiforma Exetatavium. She was only 3 when she died. My next older sister was the one who bought books for me to read and told me many stories. She was the nice one in the family who was looked up to most by my father. She is now living in Michigan with her husband who is dying of congestive heart failure on their farm in Charlevoix, Michigan, at Spruce Dale Farm. My older sister who is the youngest of my three older sisters, two still living, was the most ambitious and outgoing sibling who was very creative and had many friends at school and she married at the age of 14 and ran away to elope with my older brother John's wife's brother, much to my fathers dissatisfaction. She lives in Indiana and her husband passed away a few years ago from lung cancer from a lifetime of cigarette smoking. My younger brother went to school to learn to barber. He later became addicted to drugs that ruined his life, as he had been married twice and had a child by his second wife. She and he separated and his son was adopted by his second wife's parents or aunt and uncle and his name changed. My younger brother was my closest sibling. If I had taken the path he had chosen I would not have lived to where I am now, as he is now in a hospice with a condition known as emphasema because he smoked his entire life and continues to smoke in spite of his condition and he is 2 years younger than me, give or take a few months. I was the last person to leave home, after being in my mid 30's, as I had essentially become my parent's care giver. I ran errands for both my parents for years and mowed grass to make a little spending money as I was still living with my parents under their roof and did not pay rent or pay for my meals, yet I did contribute to all the house hold by maintaining the property as both parents had poor health by this time. I had trained to become an auto mechanic, taken classes also in business and air conditioning and refrigeration. I managed to hop from one college to the next, and one job to the next practically my entire life. I mainly was an artist, a writer, a musician and a poet but the world may not ever have known this until I wrote my first blog back in 1995 called lookatdesktop magazine and later became interested in working for free online helping others on Yahoo! Answers. Meantime I worked off and on doing blue collar work in warehouses and retail stores stocking, being a sales clerk and worked at a Kroger as a courtesy clerk and Albertson's store as a cashier which I became quite good at until I lost my job because of my temper, later diagnosed as bipolar 1 - mixed with rapid cycling. When my mother died in 1995 I was so torn up about things that I attmpted to take pills and drink beer and almost drowned in my wife's bathtub. Later I was taken to the hospital for the county and was admitted in the psychiatric ER. From there I began therapy for Bipolar disorder and later tested and found out I was morbidly obese, had GERD and pre-hypertension. So It was some roller coaster ride. I was baptized a Catholic after I was born, in Roanoke, Virginia, the city and state where I was born. I was a church member at St. Cecilia's on Davis street in Dallas, TX and did my first holy communion there. I went to bible study classes also. So I hope this provides some pieces of my life for you all to take a look at.

VinceSummers wrote on February 26, 2018, 11:16 AM

Wow, Guy! You could have written several articles on all of this! Your life sounds about as varied as that of the writer Jack London. The part about your dad and polio is of special interest to me, as (and likely you already know this) it was especially hard-hitting in parts of Virginia, perhaps in the southwestern part, especially. I expressed a theory about that at one point. If you write on his experience, please include when he got it, where he lived, and what his outdoor activities may have been -- especially in connection with outdoor bodies of water.

lookatdesktop wrote on February 28, 2018, 12:47 PM

I don't remember all the facts and my mother and father told me but I was very young and did not keep record of all the details. However, my dad was born in North Carolina and I will have to do research or ask my sister if she can recall the exact location of his home during that early time in his youth when the Polio outbreak originated. I will have to really do some searching for this information.

VinceSummers wrote on February 28, 2018, 1:01 PM

Was he not, then, in Virginia when he contracted polio?

lookatdesktop wrote on March 2, 2018, 9:08 AM

I am almost certain he was still in North Carolina, but not absolutely certain. There is a chance his parents might have moved to Virginia but this I can not confirm at the moment.

VinceSummers wrote on March 2, 2018, 12:13 PM

The worst location for that polio outbreak in the 1950 timeframe was in Wythe County, Virginia, which is why I asked. That, and I knew you used to live in Virginia. There is a river that flows backward in that area that made me wonder...