Friday, January 2, 2009

She Died, Good Riddance!!!

cartoon - fry - obit

As I begin this brand new year,2009, I have begun to reflect about the ups and downs of my life. I have begun to wonder that if I was to leave this earth in the next ten minutes, tonight, tomorrow, etc. would I have been truly happy with my life. Have I accomplished the goals that I have set for myself? Have I found my one true love? Do I have that seemingly perfect career and family? Have I made amends with my enemies? What would I be remembered for?

Some people may say that life can be interpreted only after it has been experienced. However, I believe that you should interpret your life right now. I have not attended many funerals in my life thus far. However, I have had many close relatives and friends that have passed away. I may not remember specific things about those people, but I can remember if that person was kind, generous, a drunk, a whore, or just plain, evil as hell! Who wants to be remembered negatively?

"Remember how Stanley Walker ended his famous 1924 paragraph on the ideal journalist: "When he dies, a lot of people are sorry, and some of them remember him for several days." They may forget you, but if you write your own, your obit will live forever."

I say all of this to say that as you go into 2009, write your own living obituary. Reflect on your life and make an assessment. You can only live this life once! You cannot go back in time and change the past. Yet, you can make a difference in the future.

Here is how:
1.) List this data in a text box:
  • Your name, age, occupation and address
  • Your date and place of birth
  • Your memberships and military service
  • Fraternal, religious and civic organizations you belonged to
  • Your family, both deceased and surviving
  • Any funeral and burial arrangements already made (you are not dead, so pretend)
2.) SOURCE MATERIAL List these items elsewhere:
  • Your activities and achievements
  • Your favorite anecdotes and recollections about you
3.) CORE Write a few rich paragraphs in the third person, answering this question: "What do I want people to remember about me?"
4.) LEAD Write a short lead announcing your death and telling the reader what you and this obituary are about.

After you have written your own obituary, are you happy with the content? I believe that we all can do so much more with our lives. I am not ready to leave this earth yet while people are still telling me that I have so much potential. I want to have fulfilled that potential. This is a new year! What will be your legacy?

Happy New Years readers! Please comment, subscribe, and forward to a friend.